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Bill Seeks To Combat Antibiotic Resistance Through Livestock

Jessica Hill / AP
 

Jessica Hill / AP

The bill would limit the use of antibiotics in livestock. Beginning in 2018 a veterinarian would have to approve the medication. Over-the-counter sales would also be eliminated.

Jason Pfeifle is with CALPIRG, a consumer advocacy group. He says when animals are given too many antibiotics they can develop drug-resistant bacteria which can be passed to humans.

"Antibiotic-resistance is a serious health crisis which results in nearly 23,000 American deaths each year," he says.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says two-million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections every year.

The California Cattleman’s Association is neutral on the bill, but worked with the author. Justin Oldfield is with the California Cattlemen’s Association. He says the bill provides for some flexibility.

"The bill does allow veterinarians and ranchers working in collaboration with each other to ensure that antibiotics can still be used for, not only disease treatment, but prevention where appropriate," he says.

Oldfield says farmers and ranchers want to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics which also treat and prevent diseases in animals.