SALEM — A bill restricting antibiotic usage in Oregon’s livestock industry has died despite objections from critics who claim federal controls insufficiently limit usage of the drugs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has worked with pharmaceutical companies to change antibiotic labels to disallow uses aimed at livestock growth promotion.
However, critics such as the Consumers Union have said the approach creates a “loophole” by continuing to permit antibiotic usage for disease prevention in livestock.
Senate Bill 785 would have restricted antibiotics to treat or control the spread of a disease under the supervision of a veterinarian and required confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, to report usage.
Supporters of the bill said it would help slow bacterial resistance to medically important antibiotics, but opponents argued the proposal was too rigid and rendered unnecessary by federal measures.
The Senate Committee on Health Care didn’t take action on SB 785, effectively allowing an April 18 legislative deadline to kill the proposal.