Here's why we need to stop giving animals antibiotics for growth promotion!
According to a recent study by World Animal Protection USA, 80% of the antibiotics used in factory farming are not used for therapeutic purposes, but as a growth promoter. The overuse of antibiotics contributes to the multiplication of superbugs, i.e. bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. As a result, superbugs are spreading and, because they are resistant to antibiotic treatment, can potentially be fatal to humans.
The study shows that four superbugs common in factory farming - Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter and non-typhoid Salmonella - were linked to 975,000 human deaths and 35 million illnesses in 2019. That's more deaths than some common cancers like colon or liver cancer, HIV/AIDS or malaria that year.
Closer to home
Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global public health threat, killing at least 1.27 million people worldwide and associated with nearly 5 million deaths in 2019.
- World Animal Protection is calling for a moratorium on factory farming in the U.S. and a reduction in the use of antibiotics as a growth promoter.
- Elsewhere in the world, several measures are in place to reduce the use of antibiotics. Since 2006, for example, the European Union has banned the use of antibiotics to promote animal growth.
What about me? How can I do my part?
As a consumer, you can contribute by consuming products that are raised without antibiotics. In United States and Canada, the organic standard prohibits their use in meat production. This certification is evaluated by an independent organization, so you can trust it.
Educate those around you. Antibiotics should be used to heal (humans and animals), not as a growth promoter to make animals grow bigger faster! This practice, widely used in North America, is leading us straight to disaster!