Amarillo experts talk on new rule for over-the-counter livestock antibiotics

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 6:10 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - A new rule was implemented last month in the agriculture world requiring a prescription for over-the-counter livestock antibiotics.

With the new rule, the hope is to scale back antibiotic resistance to several highly-used medications in both humans and animals.

An expert at the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine says not only does this help the livestock, but individuals as well.

“Infections, whether it be at home or in the hospital, if we don’t help reign in the use of these and applying them in situations where they’re not truly needed, we could help limit that resistance build up,” said Assistant Professor for Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine, Clinton Roof.

Roof says like any change, it will have its advantages and disadvantages.

“It’s gonna allow for more judicious and conservative use of our antibiotics when it comes to their application in livestock,” said Roof.

However, some are worried about the issues they may face because of the new rule.

“Animals get sick, we don’t always have the ability to plan for them and so if they’re at the last minute trying to get something to treat on of their animals with because they don’t already have something on hand, or have that relationship where they can call up a vet, that may put them in a bind,” Roof said.

Dr. Rodney Young with the Texas Tech University School of Medicine says long term, the change will benefit the antibiotic supply greatly.

“Since there are only a certain number of antibiotics that are available to us, and the pipeline isn’t necessarily rich with additional new types of antibiotics, it’s really important you know that we take good care and be good custodians of the antibiotics that we have,” said Dr. Young

Roof says the main goal from now on is to provide antibiotics safely and more efficiently.