The Coalition for Animal Health, in a letter to speaker Nancy Pelosi, asked that the "Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009" not be added to bills now being considered, including food-safety and health-care reform legislation.

The bill would ban animal health products that are used to prevent and control diseases from use in livestock and poultry. Farmers only would be allowed to use animal health products that treat diseases.

The bill also would require all "critical antimicrobial animal drugs" to go through a second U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process within two years of enactment of the legislation. Currently to win approval, an animal drug maker must demonstrate that a product is effective and safe for animals and for the environment.


In its letter, the Coalition also noted that the food-safety and health-care reform bills are based on the important principle of prevention.

Among the groups in the Coalition for Animal Health are the National Chicken Council, the National Turkey FederationUnited Egg Producers and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association.