Use of antibiotics

What happens if I use antibiotics on my organic livestock?

The use of antibiotics, including ionophores, is not allowed for use in organic animal production. The administration of antibiotics carries special requirements following use.

Organic livestock operations:

Any livestock treated with antibiotics (or any prohibited substances) must be immediately identified and cannot be sold, labeled, or represented as organic.

What do I do if my animal requires antibiotics?

Organic livestock operations are prohibited from withholding medical treatment from a sick animal in order to preserve the animal’s organic status.

Treat any animal with the appropriate medication, including antibiotics, to ensure the animal’s well-being.


Inspectors and certifiers will review your animal health care records to ensure that sick animals in need of antibiotics have been given appropriate treatment. They will also verify that any animals treated with antibiotics or other prohibited medications are clearly identified — segregated if necessary — and animals, offspring, or any products have not been sold or represented as organic.

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