LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Starting June 11, farmers, ranchers, and those who raise livestock will need prescriptions for antibiotics for their animals.
The FDA is changing the rules. Right now, those medicines are available over the counter. But the FDA is combating a broader effort to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a serious threat to animal and public health.
Sarah Esther explained how this change impacts her and the animals she raises.
“Primarily, we raise chickens, but I also have ducks and guinea fowl and goats,” Esther said.
She explained the new FDA rule called GFI 263.
“So I understand why they’re doing it. That we don’t need to just have any person medicating them without having a medical background,” Esther said.
Essentially, some animal antibiotics will switch from over-the-counter to prescription.
“They have a sick or an injured animal, so they just go to the store, they go pick it up. They don’t have to worry about having to call a vet and trying to get in for an appointment,” Esther said.
The FDA wants more oversight and they say veterinarians can help control doses and slow down anti-biotics resistance. Esther said this move adds another barrier.
“And if we push this to the point where anytime a person a person needs an antibiotic for their animal, getting into a vet is going to be next to impossible,” Esther said.
Because she said there’s a larger issue.
“I mean, me just calling to get into a vet for one of my chickens, I feel like I’ve had to wait a week and a half at one point just because there are not enough vets in the area that see poultry, exotics, even small ruminants, I have to drive to Shelbyville to take my goats to the vet,” Esther said.
The FDA said the new rule affects both food-producing animals and companion animals. This includes cattle, swine, chickens, turkeys, horses, sheep, goats, cats and dogs. It takes effect on June 11.