Animal Health: Bill Would Restrict Antibiotic Use
A powerful state legislator in California has introduced legislation to restrict the use of antibiotics in raising livestock. As introduced, SB 416 would:
Prohibit, commencing Jan. 1, 2012, a school or school district from serving poultry and meat products treated with antibiotics to pupils.
Prohibit, commencing Jan. 1, 2015, a person from using antibiotics for non-therapeutic and prophylactic use in any animal raised for the production of any human food product.
Require state and local governments, when purchasing meat supplies, to prefer meat supplies produced without the use of medically important antibiotics as feed additives.
The legislator, Senate Majority Leader and Chair of the Food and Agriculture Committee Dean Florez, made news recently for introducing a measure that would ban tail-docking. He has often been a thorn in the side of production agriculture.
“We’re curious to see where Florez is going with this legislation. The majority of what he’s proposing is unconstitutional,” says Michael Marsh, chief executive officer for Western United Dairymen. Marsh said that a school in Berkeley, Calif., tried to offer only organic food to students, but the program failed because students could not afford to purchase the food.
An informational hearing to address this bill will take place on March 17.
To see a copy of the bill, click here.
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There seems to be a theme today of throwing science under the bus. So any animal that even one time in its life receives antibiotics will not be allowed into the school lunch program. This will drastically increase the expense for providing meals to children. It also encourages producers to use “hope” as a treatment for a sick animal rather than antibiotics. Obviously, there hasn’t been a lot of thought put into this bill and hopefully common sense will prevail. It’s interesting that these types of people want to give rights to animals, and at the same time, they are trying to limit producer’s options for keeping them healthy.