MISSOURI (KFVS) - If you own livestock in Missouri, you need to be prepared for changes to antibiotics that will go into effect on January 1, 2017.
The Food and Drug Administration will enforce those changes.
According to Craig Payne, the director of veterinary medical extension at the University of Missouri, there are two big changes: one deals with claims made on the labels of medically-important feed grade or water soluble antibiotics, the second makes those same antibiotics being available over the counter.
Right now, those antibiotics may have labels that claim they can improve the rate of weight gain or "improved feed efficiency." Those claims will now be removed from the label and the antibiotics can not be used for those purposes.
As of January 1, those antibiotics will only be available through a veterinarian's care.
"The FDA is eliminating production uses by making these label changes," said Payne. "They want the antibiotics used just for treatment, prevention or control of disease."
Livestock owners will have to have a "Veterinary Feed Directive" in order to get feed-grade microbials from a feed distributor. A prescription from a veterinarian will be required for water-soluble antimicrobials.
These new regulations affect a wide variety of species including cattle, hogs, poultry, rabbits, and even insects, like bees.
For more information, you can visit the FDA website.