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Author Topic: Is animal husbandry to blame for antibiotic resistance?  (Read 2282 times)

Offline thedoc

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"GAMEL,JOHN" <> asked the Naked Scientists:
   
As everyone knows, more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to the available antibiotics.

Does this have anything to do with the fact that in many developed nations (especially America) farmers are using tons of antibiotics to fatten up their livestock?

These meds are especially needed when the animals in corporate farms are packed together like sardines, where they wallow in their own excrement.

Aside from being horribly inhumane, it might help put us at the mercy of untreatable organisms.

John Gamel, MD
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 12/04/2014 05:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline yellowcat

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Re: Is animal husbandry to blame for antibiotic resistance?
« Reply #1 on: 05/06/2014 17:31:28 »
I think that it is definitely  true that the over use of antibiotics in livestock farming is a major driver for antibiotic resistance. I have corresponded  with microbiology professors about this and they agree that this over use is highly irresponsible.
These antibiotics are not being used to treat infection but as 'growth promoters', the doses given are at sub-therapeutic levels.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2014 16:23:46 by yellowcat »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is animal husbandry to blame for antibiotic resistance?
« Reply #2 on: 05/06/2014 19:32:16 »
I'm not sure how much antibiotics are just routinely fed to farm animals.  Perhaps some types of chicken feed.  We never just blanket fed our pigs antibiotics. 

I think there were strict regulations about antibiotic use prior to butcher, and perhaps during milk and egg production.

Depending on the estimate, somewhere between 50 and 80% of antibiotic use is in livestock, and thus 20 to 50% is used in humans.

There are about 19 billion chickens, 1.4 billion cows, 1 billion sheep, and 1 billion pigs in the world, plus horses and other livestock.  Doses will be weight dependent.  A chicken would take less antibiotics than most humans, while cows, depending on their size often will take a considerable amount more.  Anyway, so it is not surprising that about half of our antibiotics do end up in livestock. 

One of the differences may be less prescription control.  So, you have a sick pig, so rather than calling the vet, the fist thing might be to give it a shot of combiotic (without a true virus/bacteria diagnosis). 

One may choose to restrict newer drugs from use in livestock, but penicillin related drugs are an extremely important class for both human and livestock treatment.
 

Offline yellowcat

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Re: Is animal husbandry to blame for antibiotic resistance?
« Reply #3 on: 08/07/2014 20:15:05 »
This is not about treating sickness in animals.
From what I have heard the in America it is still common to give subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics to livestock in feed as growth promoters.
This has been banned in Europe since 2006.
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-05-1687_en.htm [nofollow]

http://amrls.cvm.msu.edu/pharmacology/antimicrobial-usage-in-animals/non-therapuetic-use-of-antimicrobials-in-animals/use-of-antibiotics-in-animals-for-growth-promotion [nofollow]
« Last Edit: 08/07/2014 20:17:05 by yellowcat »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Is animal husbandry to blame for antibiotic resistance?
« Reply #4 on: 08/07/2014 21:58:32 »
Antibiotic resistance existed before we used them and probably before humanity evolved.
However mankind's actions, overprescribing and the use of antibiotics in animal feed, have increased the spread of antibiotic resistance.
 

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Re: Is animal husbandry to blame for antibiotic resistance?
« Reply #4 on: 08/07/2014 21:58:32 »

 

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