Oregon farmers and veterinarians are speaking out against a bill in Salem that would make it illegal to give antibiotics to healthy farm animals.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration put new rules in place this year to reduce the amount of antibiotics being used by farmers.
Speaking at a public hearing, Charlie Fisher with the Oregon consumer group OSPIRG said stronger protections are needed.
He said the bill would still allow a farmer to use antibiotics to prevent an existing disease from spreading, “What we’re talking about is using antibiotics to prevent disease which is not currently on the farm," he said.
Senate health committee vice-chair, Republican Jeff Kruse, was skeptical, “In my farm I don’t use, I don’t have to, because I can’t afford to do that. The margins aren’t great enough.”
Last year California passed a law similar to the one being proposed in Oregon.