A bill passed by Maryland’s legislature makes the state the nation’s second to ban the routine use of antibiotics in livestock. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act prohibits administration of antimicrobial drugs to cattle, swine, and poultry that are not sick, a practice public health experts say can fuel the spread of drug-resistant bacteria. The law passed without the state’s governor’s signature and will go into effect on January first. The laws in Maryland and California go beyond U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, which prohibit the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in animals. In 2015, Maryland ranked ninth among states in the number of broilers, or chickens raised for their meat, with 303 million birds produced, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The state was also home to some 190,000 head of cattle, and more than 45,000 hogs and pigs.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.