A California state legislator has introduced a bill to restrict antibiotic use in animal agriculture.

As introduced, SB 416 would:

  • Prohibit, commencing Jan. 1, 2012, a school or school district from serving poultry and meat products (from which the animals have been) treated with antibiotics.
  • Prohibit, commencing Jan. 1, 2015, a person from using antibiotics for non-therapeutic and prophylactic use in any animal raised for the production of any human food product.
  • Require state and local governments, when purchasing meat supplies, to prefer meat supplies produced without the use of medically important antibiotics as feed additives.  

The legislator is Dean Florez, senate majority leader and chairman of the food and agriculture committee. He made news recently for introducing a measure that would ban tail-docking in dairy cattle. Florez has often been a thorn in the agriculture production's side, and has been associated with the Humane Society of the United States.

“We’re curious to see where Florez is going with this legislation. The majority of what he’s proposing is unconstitutional,” says Michael Marsh, chief executive officer for Western United Dairymen. Marsh points out that a school in Berkeley, Calif.., tried to offer only organic food to students, but the program failed because students could not afford to purchase the food..

An informational hearing to address the California bill will take place on March 17.

To see a copy of the bill, click here.  

Source: Dairy Herd Management