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Minnesota Implements Prescription-Only Rule for Livestock Antibiotics
Minnesota Ag Connection - 05/31/2023

To promote responsible antibiotic use and mitigate the rise of resistance, the state of Minnesota is implementing a crucial change regarding over-the-counter antibiotics for livestock starting June 11, 2023. All currently available over-the-counter antibiotics, including Penicillin, Oxytetracycline, Sulfa antibiotics, and Mastitis tubes, will now be accessible only through prescription medications. This significant transition aims to enhance veterinary oversight and ensure more judicious use across all livestock species.

The move to prescription-only status will require livestock producers to establish a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) before being prescribed antibiotics by a veterinarian. A VCPR signifies a collaborative alliance between a veterinarian (veterinary clinic) and a client, typically a livestock producer. This mutually agreed-upon arrangement involves an annual dedicated visit by the veterinarian to the client's animal location(s), with detailed documentation of the visit and the resulting VCPR agreement.

By imposing these measures, Minnesota seeks to empower veterinarians with greater authority and accountability over antibiotic administration in livestock. The Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) requirement ensures regular veterinary involvement, enabling more personalized and tailored treatment plans for each livestock operation. Consequently, this shift toward prescription-only antibiotics aims to foster a culture of responsible antibiotic usage, thereby reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance.

Certain non-antibiotic treatments and medications, such as Ionophores like Rumensin and Bovatec, Parasiticides (e.g., Ivermectin), Oral pre/pro/postbiotics, and topical treatments, will remain available over the counter, as they are not considered critical for human medicine.

For further inquiries regarding this regulatory change or any other agriculture, horticulture, or natural resources topic, please reach out to your local Extension Educator. Residents in Fillmore and Houston counties can contact 507-765-3896 or 507-725-5807 for more information.

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