Why focus on animal use of antibiotics?

Why do SB 607 and HB 829 focus on addressing the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture? Take a look at the numbers (reflected in the graphs below).

Change in antibiotic prescriptions for humans per capita between 2009-2013: –6%

Change in antibiotics sold for use in animals between 2009-2014: +23%

Percent of all medically important antibiotics sold that are sold for use in animals: 70%

Focusing on just human use of antibiotics ignores the vast majority of antibiotics sold for use in this country. In fact, human use is stagnant, while animal use is exploding.

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The Great Pill Bottle Drop-Off

Today we dropped off 188 pill bottles filled with lifesavers to every office in the Maryland General Assembly to urge them to vote yes on SB 607 and HB 829! Our pill bottles got a lot of people’s attention and it was a great success!

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Thanks to the team who came to Annapolis and helped spread the word!

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Great Hearings on SB 607 and HB 829

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We had a double header this week. The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee held their hearing on SB 607 on March 1. The House Environment and Transportation Committee followed up with a hearing on HB 829 the very next day.

On both days, the Campaign offered great testimony from diverse voices making the case for antibiotics legislation. Our champs were great – Senator Pinsky deftly walked the committee through the bill, Senator Nathan-Pulliam make a compelling health case for the bill, and Del. S. Robinson educated the committee on all the issues around antibiotics misuse in agriculture.

There was great engagement from the committee, asking smart and probing questions. The opposition also came out in full force, but only managed to confuse the committee members.

Thanks to everyone who made it out to testify – and to support the witnesses. Special thanks to those who testified on Wednesday and waited an epic 6+ hours as we waited to be the last of 15 bills to be presented. And to those who testified for the first time, you all seemed like old pros! Here’s to you: Pat McLaine, Matt Ferreira, Mae Wu, Rob Sprinkle, Michael Berger, Sara Via, Emily Scarr, Mitchelle Stephenson, Justin Graves, Emily Heil, Mary Lou Fox, Gerald Stansbury, and Eric Gally

And as the committee staff described it, we had “an avalanche” of written submissions covering animal welfare, public health, health care, environmental, and progressive groups. Thank you to everyone who submitted written testimony!

If you’d like to see the hearings, they are available online. Senate hearing  House hearing

Next up – the House subcommittee on Natural Resources and Agriculture will discuss this bill next week. Stay tuned!