Within the Pennsylvania legislature is a bill — The Safe Food and Safe Families Act of 2008 (PA HB2195) — that would ban the use of subtherapeutic antibiotics in livestock and poultry production.
The bill’s objective is to ban "non-therapeutic" use of certain antimicrobial agents (penicillin, tetracycline, erythromycin, lincomycin, bacitracin, virginiamycin or any other agent designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health of the Commonwealth) in animal agriculture. It also specifically states that such antimicrobial agents could not be administered for growth promotion.
The bill stipulates that livestock producers would have to submit an annual affidavit attesting that the animals produced have not received “an antimicrobial agent in violation of this act.”
Under the provisions, livestock producers also would have to report any use of antimicrobial agents that they administered to animals, including a list of the agents used and the approximate volume. The information would go to state’s Department of Health, which would compile an annual report.
According to the proposed bill, violators would be subject to civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day. It also states that “any microbial agent administered in violation of this act shall be deemed a hazardous substance and shall be subject to regulation as such.”
Currently, the bill is under review by the state legislature's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs.