Antibiotic use in food animals can be reduced by improving their welfare
Overuse of human medicine is a key driver of the development of superbugs. But the routine overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture is recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN as a significant contributor to the emergence of superbugs, causing drug-resistant food poisoning, blood poisoning and urinary tract infections that can be fatal.
Intensive farming causes suffering to billions of farm animals and compromises our health and the environment. The system depends on overuse of antibiotics to keep stressed animals from getting sick in dismal conditions. Keeping genetically uniform animals squashed together, subjected to painful mutilations and unable to express their natural behaviours is a risk factor for emergence of superbugs from antibiotic overuse and for pandemics. Diseases such as swine flu, bird flu and Nipah virus all emerged from farmed animals.
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