Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown signs bill restricting antibiotics in livestock

Cows wait their turn to be milked at Case van Steyn’s dairy farm in Galt.
Cows wait their turn to be milked at Case van Steyn’s dairy farm in Galt. The Sacramento Bee file

Gov. Jerry Brown, addressing what he called an “urgent public health problem,” signed legislation Saturday restricting the use of antibiotics in livestock unless prescribed by a veterinarian to treat a disease or infection.

Senate Bill 27, by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, is similar to a bill Brown vetoed last year.

But in a signing message, the Democratic governor said “the science is clear that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock has contributed to the spread of antibiotic resistance and the undermining of decades of life-saving advances in medicine.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has encouraged farmers to cut back on their use of antibiotics, which are sometimes fed to animals to promote growth.

Brown credited American poultry producers for voluntarily limiting the use of antibiotics and said “this is an example that the rest of the livestock industry should follow.”

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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