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California Takes First Step to Feed Antibiotic Ban

CALIFORNIA, US - The state Senate committee has approved the measure to ban routine use of antibiotics for farm animals a first step towards a future ban.

Californian farmers and ranchers would be prohibited from routinely dosing healthy farm animals with antibiotics under a bill getting its first level of approval on 21 April in the state Senate, reports Central Valley Business Times.

SB416, authored by state Majority Leader, Dean Florez (Democrat, Shafter), chairman of the California Senate Committee on Food and Agriculture, which approved the bill three votes to one on 21 April, would have the prohibition in place by 2015. As early as 2012, public schools would be prohibited from serving fish, poultry or meat that had been routinely treated with antibiotics.

"We tell people to take antibiotics only as prescribed for the very reason that they not develop resistance to these drugs they may need when they are truly sick," said Mr Florez. "Then we feed those same antibiotics daily to the animals they will consume. It just doesn't make any sense to take this gamble with the long-term health of our communities."

Senate Bill 416 will next be heard by the Senate Education Committee.

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