States seek limitations on nontherapeutic antibiotic uses in food animals

May 01, 2012
By staff

NATIONAL REPORT — Some lawmakers in Minnesota and West Virginia are working on limiting nonmedical uses of antimicrobials in food animals.

Minnesota Senate File 1951, introduced Feb. 20, would prohibit the sale, purchase or use of antibiotics medically important to humans for nontherapeutic uses in animal feed. Medically important drugs for people include penicillin, tetracycline, macrolide, lincosamide, streptogramin, aminoglycoside, sulfonamide and others, according to the bill. The legislation calls for the prohibition of the use of any antimicrobial agents used in human therapies (or known for cross-resistance) for growth promotion in animals. Also, the bill bans the disposal of any prescription drug containing antibiotics into a wastewater disposal system.

West Virginia House Bill 4576, introduced Feb. 17, would require the state's agriculture commissioner to prohibit feeding antibiotics to livestock for purposes other than disease prevention. Both bills have been referred to committees for further consideration.