Minnesota farmers ready for new livestock antibiotics rules

Minnesota farmers say they’re prepared for new federal regulations that will require farmers to get a veterinarian’s approval before giving antibiotics to their farm animals.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the new rules will be the broadest restrictions ever handed down on feeding healthy animals antibiotics. Federal and other health officials say unbridled use of antibiotics in animal feed is a serious threat to human health.

Livestock producers say they’ve anticipated the Jan. 1 change for years and have been pulling back in response to changing consumer attitudes.

Seth Spronk, a farmer near Edgerton, says he’s already doing much of what the new rules require.

Spronk says he doesn’t think the change will lead to more disease in his herds if he’s vigilant about his animals’ health.