Antibiotics in Livestock Lead to Resistance

Antibiotic resistance:

One method being employed to curb resistance to antibiotics is to lessen the amounts used by meat farmers and ranchers. Animals raised for food in the U.S. are given about six times more compared to Norway and Denmark. The U.S. uses far more antibiotics in livestock than many other nations.

An annual report recently stated, the amount of medically important antibiotics sold for use in animals raised for meat grew by 16 percent from 2009 to 2012. A pattern that experts said was troubling given the efforts to battle antibiotic resistance in humans.

Farmers began adding antibiotics to feed and water, with no prescriptions or sign of sickness in the animals, when they noticed how they grew faster. Broad use leads to resistance and critical antibiotics are no longer as effective in treating infections in people.

In 2013, a federal policy was introduced to encourage antibiotic manufacturers to change the labels. Meat producers would no longer be able to use antibiotics to make animals grow faster. They would also need a prescription from a veterinarian for sick animals. However, they could counter with the argument that they are using the drugs to maintain the health of the animals rather than to grow faster.

Annual Report 2012

Liz Olivia at Astrolivia

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