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CA bill could become first in nation to curb antibiotic use for livestock, so why aren’t environmentalists happy?




SB 835, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), would ban the use of certain drugs in cattle and poultry.
SB 835, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), would ban the use of certain drugs in cattle and poultry.
Amy Standen for NPR

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SB 835, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), would ban the use of certain drugs in cattle and poultry. It would also require a prescription from a veterinarian before an antibiotic could be obtained. It also bans the use of drugs to fatten animals used for food.

Sounds good, no? But environmentalists say the bill has a big loophole in that it allows the use of antibiotics as a preventive measure.  Hill counters by saying that SB 835 is an important first step in addressing an impending health crisis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatalities from antibiotic-resistant superbugs are on the rise.  Humans are becoming immune to drugs from consuming livestock injected with antibiotics.

The bill has cleared legislature and is awaiting Gov. Brown’s signature.

Guests:

Patrick Welch, Legislative Consultant working with California State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), who introduced the bill

Bill Allayaud, California Director of Governmental Affairs at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group

Dave Daley, Interim Dean, College of Agriculture, California State University, Chico and California Cattlemen’s Association 2nd Vice President. He’s also a rancher