U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is pledging to end the practice of using "medically important" antibiotics for growth promotion in poultry and livestock that are raised in the United States.
A plan, released on March 27, follows an executive order issued by Obama in September 2014, where the president called for the creation of task force to create a national plan to fight antibiotic resistance. The plan was to include initiatives involving animal antibiotic use.
“The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria,” also directs the FDA to make meat and poultry producers get a veterinarian’s permission in order to buy antibiotics for animal health related reasons. The FDA had recommended those measures before, but the agency did not require livestock and poultry producers to comply.
The newly released report gives the agency a year to set final changes to the labels of “medically important” antibiotics sold for animals that are being raised for food. The changes will make it illegal to sell these antibiotics without a prescription from a veterinarian.
The plan also includes new proposals intended to stem the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and speed new tests and treatments to people.
The president has also asked Congress to nearly double its funding to fight antibiotic resistance to $1.2 billion. His eventual goal is to prevent and contain outbreaks of infections at home and abroad.