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New Restrictions on Antibiotics for Livestock

Local ranchers may have additional costs if the latest Food and Drug Administration ruling passes. The FDA is asking for changes in the way antibiotics are administered on the farm.
Local ranchers may have additional costs if the latest Food and Drug Administration ruling passes. The FDA is asking for changes in the way antibiotics are administered on the farm.

Michelle Kingston spoke to a local veterinarian and rancher at Producers on Thursday who says it may not be an issue for local business, but may make the price of meat rise.

Ranchers may soon need a prescription for feeds with antibiotics now that the Food and Drug Administration, who controls feed-grade, wants to change how antibiotics can be used on the farm.

"That's probably going to be the biggest issue that our producers have locally," Tim Turner, a local veterinarian and rancher said. "If they have a need for feed-grade antibiotics in a herd situation, they are going to need to get a veterinarian out to evaluate the situation."

And that's going to cost those ranchers more money. But, Turner says veterinarians won't be winning either because of the amount of time it will now take them to drive out to their clients to examine individual animals.

Last week in Washington, the FDA said they worry giving antibiotics to livestock -- unless absolutely necessary -- may be creating drug-resistant bacteria that is being passed to humans.

"Most of our producers are astute enough to know that you are not helping yourself by keeping the antibiotics -- cost-wise as much as therapeutic-wise," Turner said. "Animals don't need it. To get them well and to get them over it and that you do it on a need basis not on a daily basis."

Turner says since the bill pending in Congress could cost ranchers more money to keep their livestock healthy, it could also increase the price of meat.

Michelle Kingston, KLST News.
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