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Antibiotic overuse in pig raising spread antibiotic resistance
A pig young in a farm

Antibiotic overuse in pig raising spread antibiotic resistance

A recent report from the US Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) estimates that more than 27 percent of all medically important antibiotics sold in the US are for pig production, while a roughly equivalent amount (27.6%) is sold for use in human medicine.
According to the NRDC report, the widespread antibiotic overuse in the pork industry and livestock production is a key contributor to the spread of antibiotic resistance in both animals and humans.
The key findings in the report reveal:
• The US pork industry accounts for 37 percent of all US livestock sales of medically important antibiotics;
• The pork industry feeds medically important antibiotics to entire herds of animals even when no pigs are sick;
• Overuse of antibiotics occurs with the growing consolidation of the US pork industry dominated by larger, specialised farms and by fewer businesses, which dictate production practices;
• US pork producers use twice as much antibiotics per kilogram of animal as do UK producers, and seven times the levels used in Denmark or the Netherlands;
• Robust information on the use of antibiotics in livestock production, including in pigs, remains scarce in the US.
• The irresponsible use of antibiotics on pig farms has created ripe conditions for drug-resistant bacteria to multiply and spread from farms to people’, states the report.
• Giving an example, the report cites the rise of a livestock-associated strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pig farm workers and their families in several countries.
In the absence of federal action, the report hopes that consumer demand for antibiotic-free pork will make an impact on the pork industry as it has on the poultry industry in the US.
This 13-page NRDC report entitled Better Bacon: Why it’s high time the US pork industry stopped pigging out on antibiotics can be downloaded from the link given here:
 Third World Network