Bills of the Week: New York SB 80 and SB 85

Although New York’s state legislature does not adjourn until January 4, 2011, it has begun pre-filing bills for the 2011-2012 session.

This week, New York pre-filed SB 80, which would provide that no person shall engage in the non-therapeutic use of antimicrobial agents in cattle, poultry, sheep, swine, or any animal raised for the purpose of providing food for human consumption, including animals that provide non-meat food products such as eggs and milk.  In addition, it would provide that no person shall sell, expose for sale, or transport for sale within New York, regardless of place of origin, any food product derived from an animal that has been subject to non-therapeutic use of antimicrobial agents.  Violation of these rules would be a class A misdemeanor.

On the same day, New York pre-filed SB 85, which would provide that no person, corporation, or other entity shall transport, sell, offer or expose for sale within the state eggs for the purpose of human consumption unless such eggs originate from poultry that has been vaccinated against salmonella enteritidis.  This legislation was most likely drafted in response to the August recall of a half-billion eggs due to a salmonella outbreak at Iowa farms.

What are your thoughts on the use of antimicrobials in food animals?  How do you think this bill differs from the various AVMA policies on the issue?  If signed into law, do you think the salmonella vaccination bill would be practical?  Do you think it would be effective in reducing salmonella outbreaks?

One thought on “Bills of the Week: New York SB 80 and SB 85

  1. I wholeheartedly support bill SB80. It is commonly understood that the use, (or abuse) of antibiotics for prophylactic or growth enhancement purposes leads to resistant strains of microbes and defeats their effectiveness. It is essential to limit the use of antibiotics to preserve their efficacy in life-threatening situations. All animals, bipedal and quadrupedal alike, develop healthy immune systems and are better able to resist disease when raised in healthy environments. That should be the first approach to disease prevention.
    On the issue of bill SB85, I do not agree that a mandate to vaccinate all poultry against salmonella enteritidis is the answer to disease outbreaks. Again, if animals are given healthy living conditions, the presence of harmful microbes is reduced to a level more easily managed by natural immune systems. We humans must acknowledge the inherent intelligence of balanced ecosystems. When we humans place unnatural pressures on nature we compromise it’s health, viability and sustainability.