California limits antimicrobials for livestock

California sets aggressive livestock antimicrobial use policy.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law SB 27, a bill that sets aggressive standards for antimicrobial drug use in California livestock.

The California Veterinary Medical Assn. (CVMA) applauded the action, saying the bill will positively impact antibiotic resistance in both people and animals.

This legislation ensures that medically important antimicrobial drugs used in livestock are only available through veterinary prescription or veterinary feed directive, CVMA said. Additionally, it bans the use of antimicrobials for growth promotion and feed efficiency.

Veterinarians serve a vital role in ensuring the safety of our food supply. The uniqueness of veterinary medicine makes it critical that veterinarians use their professional training, extensive years of study, proper diagnostics, and the latest scientific information to make the best medical decisions for animals. A veterinarian's oversight of antimicrobials to treat, prevent and control disease or infection in livestock will minimize pain, suffering and mortality while also addressing antimicrobial resistance.

SB 27 was developed by Sen. Jerry Hill using a stakeholder process. CVMA said believes the legislation sets a precedent for the rest of the nation.

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