Calif. Senate enters antimicrobial debate

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Calif. Senate enters antimicrobial debate

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Mar 17, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Sacramento, Calif. -- The California Senate soon will debate non-therapeutic antimicrobial use in food animals.

Introduced Feb. 26, California Senate Bill 416 would prohibit the use of antibiotics for "non-therapeutic and prophylactic use in any animal raised for production of any human food product." Under the bill, government agencies would have to purchase antibiotic-free meat supplies, and school districts would be prohibited, after Jan. 1, 2012, from serving poultry or meat products treated with antibiotics (withholding times would apply). Current law specifies, however, that school districts use of food products treated with antibiotics can be “held and segregated until the secretary has determined that the animal may safely be released for human food purposes.”

The proposal would create a new state-mandated local enforcement, and the state would have to reimburse local agencies and schools for costs of the new law.

The bill was referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee March 12 and, if passed, would take effect in 2015.

The debate about non-therapeutic antimicrobial use has been smoldering among veterinary policymakers, and the American Veterinary Medical Association approved a resolution at its winter session that would address the threat of antimicrobial resistance through science-based risk analysis.