The use of antibiotics has become a widespread practice because the drug can speed up growth and prevent disease among animals. In the U.S. alone, poultry and livestock consume about 80% of all antibiotics sold. However, using antibiotics in animal feed is preventing the treatment of life-threatening infections in children.
Despite the rise of the industrial animal production system, public-health officials have cautioned livestock producers from using the drug in their supply chains. Takanini Feeds encourages companies to use fresh and nutritious feeds to avoid any possible hazards on animal and consumer health.
Why Use Antibiotics?
Since the introduction of the first antibiotic penicillin 50 years ago, farmers have been using antibiotics to feed their livestock and to speed up efficiency and weight gain. Antibiotics also treat clinically sick animals and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
The Development of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Antibiotics do not have the power to eradicate every kind of animal bacteria, however. In fact, overuse of antibiotics could cause resistant types of bacteria to flourish when weaker types of bacteria die. Human can then contract these superbugs through improperly cooked meat, direct contact with animals and contaminated food crops. A study in Pediatrics reports that antibiotic-resistant infections affect more than two million people each year, leading to a total of 23,000 deaths.
Steps to Antibiotic Regulation
The Center of Veterinary Medicine claims that food industries should be selective when resorting to antibiotics for their needs because they also used to treat human disease. The drug may no longer work if the bacteria they target become resistant to the drugs’ effects as well. Long-term solutions include changing the process of animal production and implementing better, drug-free hygiene.
The use of antibiotics has helped farmers ensure that production runs smoothly and livestock are kept free from disease. However, industry players should agree on a multifaceted approach to strike a balance between food production and human and animal health.