Oregon on the antibiotic-resistance trail

by Erica Shaffer
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SALEM, Ore. – Legislation introduced by an Oregon state senator would curb the use of medically important antibiotics in food production. Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson and Reps. Peter Buckley and Mitch Greenlick are sponsors of Bill 920.

Antibiotics covered under the bill include drugs that are composed in whole or in part of penicillin, tetracycline, macrolide, lincosamide, streptogramin, aminoglycoside, sulfonamide or cephalosporin. Also, antimicrobials categorized as “critically important, highly important or important” based on the World Health Organization’s list of “Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine.”

Under the proposed legislation, livestock producers may provide medically important antibiotics to food animals to reduce the risk of infection or disease already present on the premises or to prevent disease transmission among other instances.
Bill 920 also mandates that concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) — as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency — must file an annual report that includes information about the number of food animals provided with medically important antimicrobials; the types of antimicrobials used; the species of the animal; the duration of treatment and the dosage, among other requirements.

The Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Grain and Feed Association and the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association oppose the bill which they argue could put the state's livestock producers at a competitive disadvantage. If passed, the bill would be the first of its kind in the United States.
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