For years, the US Food and Drug Administration — or FDA — has monitored livestock use of medically important antibiotics. Those are drugs that are used in both people and animals. The goal is to stem the development of antibiotic resistance, which can ultimately render these drugs useless.
As of 2017, the use of medically important antibiotics in livestock feed has required veterinary approval. But that change in regulation did not address other forms of these drugs available over the counter.
Now the FDA is looking to close that gap. By June 2023, a veterinary prescription is expected to be required for the use of any medically important drug in livestock. As these drugs disappear from retail shelves, it’s important for producers to team up with their veterinarians to plan for their animals’ health needs.