Global use of antibiotics for livestock

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Tons of antibiotics used for livestock

Globally this year

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136,079,794

Tons of antibiotics used for livestock

Globally this year

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Today antibiotics are routine to feed...
to livestock, poultry, and fish on industrial farms. 80% of all antibiotics used in the United States are fed to farm animals. Antibiotics have become routine to feed farm animals to increase the weight of the animals and thereby the profit. It is also done to compensate for the poor conditions the animals are living in. But why not give them better conditions of living?

Top 5 facts about antibiotics used for livestock

1

The use of Antibiotics in the Farming Industry has Increased Immensely in the last 30 Years

Since the 1980 the use of antibiotics added to feed for industrial livestock production has exploded. In the United States from 1985 to 2001, antibiotic usage rose with 50% - only in poultry production. As many as 80% of the total antibiotics used in the United states are given to farming animals.


2

Antibiotics in the Farming Industry are not only Used for Treatment

Since 1946 industrial farms have been using antibiotics to livestock feed. This was done to increase the profit for the farmers as studies showed the animals gained weight more efficiently and grew faster. However, new research showed that the net profit is actually negative as the cost for antibiotics are higher than the profit on the animal.


3

Conventional Farms are Ideal for Germs and Disease to Develop

Many of the pigs in the conventional piggeries have the MRSA (Methicillin Resistente Staphylococcus Aureus) bacteria and mainly due to antibiotics in their food. Conventional pigs get as much as 20 times more antibiotics compared to organic free range pigs. Furthermore, conventional livestock live in poor conditions such as confinement and close proximity. Their stress levels rise and these conditions inhibit the animals' immune defense. And so the likelihood of infections developing and spreading are much higher than in free range animals.


4

A Better Solution

According to the Danish Food and Drug Administration, 88% of the pigs in conventional piggeries carry the MRSA bacteria, whereas in the organic piggeries the percent is as low as 6%. Danish investigations now show that the MRSA bacteria might be air-born and when pigs have access to fresh air they can get rid of the bacteria, reduce the risk of infections and the MRSA bacteria to spread.


5

The Difference Between Antibiotic and Antimicrobial Resistance?

Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antimicrobials are used in a broader term and can be used to treat diseases caused by other microbes such as parasites (e.g. malaria), viruses (e.g. HIV) and fungi. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop resistance towards the drug they are exposed to due to a mutation in their DNA. These bacteria may infect humans and are much harder to treat than non-resistant bacteria.



Antibiotics used for livestock

There are only approximations to the global use of antibiotics for livestock. According to the World Bank, approximations vary from 63,000 to over 240,000 metric tons. World Bank. 2016. “Drug-resistant infections: a threat to our economic future (Discussion Draft).” Washington, Dc: World Bank. License: creative commons attribution cc BY 3.0 igo

  • World Bank. 2016. “Drug-resistant infections: a threat to our economic future (Discussion Draft).” Washington, Dc: World Bank. License: creative commons attribution cc BY 3.0 igo

The use of Antibiotics in the Farming Industry has Increased Immensely in the last 30 Years

Antibiotics in the Farming Industry are not only Used for Treatment

Conventional Farms are Ideal for Germs and Disease to Develop

A Better Solution

The Difference Between Antibiotic and Antimicrobial Resistance?

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