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Livestock antibiotics will no longer be over-the-counter as of June 2023. Will common-use pet medications and herbal antibiotics also become by-prescription only?


January 24, 2023 Staff


TheDogPress has learned that the FDA’s Center For Veterinary Medicine supports veterinary antimicrobial use but presumably all over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotics will be switched to “only by prescription” status.



Yes, that includes common animal antibiotics (and potentially animal wormers) that animal owners have also used for themselves. How does this affect you? First, you will pay a lot more for that rib roast or steak but you will also pay more at the veterinarian’s office.


Many OTC livestock antibiotics are the same or similar to those marketed for humans but which are by-prescription only. For example, most “medically important antibiotics (used by humans) include penicillin and oral tetracycline, plus sulfadimethoxine and sulfamethazine, cephapirin and cephapirin benzathine. According to University Wisconsin “injectable and oral tetracycline, sulfadimethoxine and sulfamethazine, and cephapirin and cephapirin benzathine…” are on the list.



The new veterinary regulations also included “growth implants and other medical treatments.” Growth implants? Hormones? What other “medical treatments’? Will we be eating sick beef?


Hopefully not but unless your meat is specifically marked as organic, it may contain pass-through growth hormones or medications. Herd and flock owners have a right to increase size, weight gain and early marketability, it IS their business but YOU should have a right to know what you are eating and how it was raised.


As of this breaking news on over-the-counter medicines, there is no assurance as to how or if the herd owner treated diseases that require antibiotics. This is a two-edged sword. If the animal receives antibiotics, weight-gain or growth hormones is the consumer entitled to know about that?


We presume not as our writers do not recall any such labeling. But what about “organic” meats? Does each state have regulations requiring antibiotic use records within so many weeks of slaughter? If so, is there a required lapse-time before that animal can be used for human consumption? (Or does it only go into pet food?)


How long after a course of antibiotics can an individually recorded steer, lamb or chicken be slaughtered for human consumption??? Who keeps track? The seller, the meat processor, the USDA? Oklahoma State regs say it should be “at least 100 days from last treatment” but who verifies that???



Ranching used to be a way of life and “cattle men” and their families were a proud bunch who cared about their livestock the same way we care about our dogs. They kept records, gave shots, provided the best grazing and had breeding plans and genetic knowledge that surpassed that of the average dog breeder “by a country mile.”


Things have changed. There is less open land for raising healthy livestock. Poultry is “produced” on assembly lines. Even our vegetables are genetically modified to grow bigger and faster – which is not necessarily better.


Can antibiotics, science and production compatibly keep up? The BBC predicts around “2070 or 2080 … there will be between 1 billion and 10.4 billion people on the planet.” We all have to eat BUT we are also running out of grazing land as condos and high-rise buildings take priority. Not to worry you but someone needs to know and act on these problems. Not every family can afford to purchase ORGANIC meat and food crops.


Click to read BILL H.R. 2565: To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow manufacturers and sponsors of a drug to use alternative testing methods to animal testing to investigate the safety and effectiveness of a drug, and for other purposes. APRIL 15 2021 EST 2002 © Jan. 2023





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