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June 2, 2017

Maryland joins California in battling antibiotic overuse on farms

Maryland has become the second U.S. state to pass a law banning the routine use of antibiotics in healthy livestock and poultry, a move aimed at battling the rise of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as “superbugs.”

Maryland’s Keep Antibiotics Effective Act, which aims to end a practice that public health experts say can fuel the spread of superbugs, takes effect on Oct. 1 after Governor Larry Hogan declined to sign or veto it last week. Farmers in Maryland have until Jan. 1, 2018, to comply with the law.

Roughly 70 percent of antibiotics important for human medicine are sold in the United States for use in meat and dairy production. Medical researchers say overuse of such drugs diminishes their effectiveness in fighting disease in humans by contributing to antibiotic resistance.  Read more

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