News Release

For immediate release: November 17, 2023

Contact: Dan Callahan

Remember, animal antibiotics require a veterinarian’s prescription

St. Paul, MN: The Minnesota Board of Animal Health would like to remind livestock and pet owners of recent changes to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules regarding the use of antibiotics and animals.

As of June 11, 2023, livestock and pet owners must obtain a veterinarian’s prescription to purchase certain animal medications, including antibiotics. Additionally, other guidance has gone into effect:

  • Producers must have a prescription to purchase drugs such as injectable penicillin, tetracycline, sulfa drugs, oral medications like neomycin, and intramammary tubes like those used to treat mastitis.
  • Veterinarians are not allowed to write prescriptions for clients they don’t know and animals they’ve never worked with, they need to have an established veterinarian-client-patient 

The intent of these regulations is to ensure antibiotics are used only for the treatment, prevention, and control of disease under the guidance of a veterinarian. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, a critical issue that impacts the health of humans, animals, and the environment. The FDA recognizes veterinarians’ specialized training and experience, and the critical role they play in antimicrobial stewardship, which was a key factor in moving certain animal drugs behind the counter.

“The use or potential overuse of antibiotics in animal care can lead to antibiotic resistance and a host of other problems,” said State Veterinarian Brian Hoefs. “Partnerships between animal owners and veterinarians can help ensure animals get the meds they need, only when they are needed.”

For more information, visit the FDA website at FDA Announces Transition of Over-the-Counter Medically Important Antimicrobials for Animals to Prescription Status.