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Planning Ahead: SB-27 takes effect January 1, 2018

What is SB-27?

Senate Bill 27 was signed into effect by Governor Jerry Brown in October 2015, stating that all antibiotics deemed important for human medical use will require veterinary prescription as of January 1, 2018. The goal of SB-27, in addition to the Veterinary Feed Directive that went into effect in January 2017, is to eliminate the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in livestock and to ensure antimicrobial stewardship -- that is, using antimicrobials appropriately and effectively with guidance from a veterinarian so that we reduce antimicrobial resistance and ensure efficacy of such medications in both human and veterinary medicine for years to come. SB-27 also implements confidential monitoring to track purchasing trends, survey for resistance, and monitor health outcomes of treated animals with producer cooperation.

What medications will SB-27 affect?

Antibiotics for use as injection are covered under SB-27. While some injectable antibiotics have always been available exclusively by veterinary prescription (like Nuflor or Draxxin), antibiotics previously available over the counter will now require veterinary prescription as well (like penicillin or oxytetracycline). Mastitis tubes with active ingredients may also fall in this category.

SB-27 does not include antibiotics for feed or water, which are covered under the Veterinary Feed Directive. In addition, SB-27 does not include vaccines, which are not considered important for human medical use, and will continue to be available over the counter.

Medications that are not covered under the VFD or SB-27 include coccidiostats (like Corid), ionophores (like Rumensin), bacitracins (used primarily in swine and poultry operations), or deworming products. Additionally, SB-27 does not affect use of medications in small or companion animals.

How will SB-27 affect me?

For most of our clients, very little will change! Clients will still be able to purchase antibiotics from our warehouse or from other vendors with a signed prescription with a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR), meaning that one of our veterinarians has seen your animals within the last year and has knowledge of your facilities and animals. The main difference you'll notice is that feed stores will no longer carry antibiotics for over the counter sale and use.

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