Oregon Senate bill aims to address antibiotic resistance

If Senate Bill 920 passes, it would be the first in the nation regulating farmers’ use of antibiotics.

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A bill in the Oregon Senate is aiming to stem the trend of livestock becoming resistant to the effects of antibiotics.

If Senate Bill 920 passes, it would be the first in the nation regulating farmers’ use of antibiotics.

OregonLive.com reports:

Senate Bill 920 would allow the use of antibiotics to treat sick cattle, swine or poultry. It would ban routine doses, which have been used for decades to fatten animals for slaughter. Farmers and ranchers could use the drugs to prevent the spread of infection but only in limited circumstances. Critics, including the Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Feed and Grain Association and Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, say the bill would hurt the health of Oregon farm animals and crimp profits in a state that exports 80 percent of its agricultural production.

“The law would be putting our producers on an unlevel playing field,” said Jenny Dresler, the farm bureau’s government affairs associate.

Tyson Foods, Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride — three of the largest poultry producers — have already started to slow the usage of antibiotics on their animals.

Walmart recently asked producers to decrease their use of antibiotics, according to OregonLive.com.

The company, with abut 4,500 stores across the country, also asked producers to file an annual report on animal welfare. The guidelines  call on producers to avoid raising animals in cramped spaces and to ensure that livestock are slaughtered humanely and do not suffer painful procedures. The policy follows a demand from the public for the humane treatment of animals and worries about antibiotic resistance, the company said.

“Our customers want to know more about how their food is grown and raised, and where it comes from,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of sustainability. As the nation’s largest grocer, Walmart is committed to using our strengths to drive transparency and improvement across the supply chain.”



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