California Senate Bill 27: Use of Antimicrobial Drugs in Livestock
What is it?
On Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 27. The bill is similar in most regards to the federal regulations on the judicious use of Medically Important Antimicrobial (MIA) drugs in food-producing animals outlined in GFI 209 and 213 (see VFDs more details). Antibiotics that are deemed important for use in human medicine will be restricted to use in livestock for therapeutic purposes only and by prescription from a veterinarian.
The bill specifies when an MIA drug may be used:
It also will require the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to gather information on MIA drug sales and usage, antimicrobial resistant bacteria, and livestock management practice data.
When does it take place?
Senate Bill 27 takes effect January 1st, 2018. This is one year after the federal regulations for VFDs and water medications become active.
What does it mean to veterinarians?
All antimicrobials deemed important for use in human medicine will require a prescription from a veterinarian with a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship. California defines a valid VCPR in Section 2032.1 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
The main difference with this bill and the federal regulation is that it applies to all routes of administration, including injectable antibiotics, as well as antibiotics meant for water or feed. This will result in injectable antibiotics currently available in feed stores as an over-the-counter product becoming prescription only in the state of California. Since several intramammary drugs have active ingredients (eg. erythromycin, penicillin, cephalosporins) that are considered important for use in human medicine, they may also become prescription only in the state of California.
This bill also specifies that prophylaxis use of MIA may only be used if an elevated risk for disease/infection exists as determined by a veterinarian.