The California legislature has been battling over the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals for several years. This week, a bill limiting the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture in California was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill, SB 27, will take effect January 1, 2018.
Brown had previously vetoed a similar bill, SB 835, in 2014, citing that he felt the legislation should be stronger in hopes of “finding new and effective ways to reduce the unnecessary antibiotics used for livestock and poultry.” SB 835 and SB 27 were both proposed by Sen. Jerry Hill.
“SB 835 would codify a voluntary Federal Drug Administration standard that phases out antibiotic use for growth promotion. Codifying these standards is unnecessary since most major animal producers have already pledged to go beyond the FDA standard,” Brown said when he vetoed the bill a year ago.
SB 27 emerged after Hill’s team worked with Brown’s office to draft bill Brown would find more appropriate.
With the signing of the bill, California will become the first state in the U.S. to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for the use of antibiotics in farm animals.
To help provide answers to how and why antibiotics are used in the poultry industry, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association in 2012 created a series of six short videos called Poultry Insight. The videos provide information about antibiotic resistance, antibiotic residues, why and when antibiotics are used, who regulates antibiotic use, and what would happen if the poultry industry stopped using antibiotics.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have restricted the amount of antibiotics given to poultry and livestock.