About the AUS Program
California Senate Bill 27 (Hill), signed by Governor Brown on October 10, 2015, resulted in additions to the California Food and Agricultural Code (Division 7, Chapter 4.5, Sections 14400-14408) that address the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in livestock, development of antimicrobial stewardship guidelines and best management practices, and surveillance of antimicrobial use as well as antimicrobial resistance patterns in bacteria.
In California, effective January 1st of 2018, over the counter injectable and all other medically important antimicrobials must be administered with a prescription or veterinary feed directive (VFD) ordered by a California licensed veterinarian under a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR). The law also requires the California Department of Food & Agriculture to ensure that livestock producers in rural areas continue to have timely access to antimicrobials.
Note that these changes are separate from the federal regulations regarding antimicrobials in feed and water that became effective on January 1, 2017.
The Antimicrobial Use and Stewardship (AUS) program requires the coordination of the Animal Health and Food Safety Services (AHFSS) division and the Inspection Services Division (ISD).
These are two different divisions within the California Department of Food and Agriculture, building upon their existing framework to contribute expertise, staff and structure to the AUS program.
Although they are inherently linked through the program mandate, each division’s staff provides support in different way, as you can see below.
Division of Responsibilities