Keep Antibiotics Working

Save antibiotics for when we need them

Keeping farm animals healthy and safe is important. But over-medicating them isn’t the answer. That’s why some farmers are using natural methods like probiotics, oregano or essential oils instead of traditional medical antibiotics. Why would they do that?

The inappropriate use of human antibiotics in agriculture is seen as one of the culprits in the 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths caused by drug-resistant bacteria each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Overcrowded ChickensEstimates suggest that 70% of the medically important antibiotics sold in the United States are sold to raise chickens, hogs, and cattle on large farms.  Shockingly, these antibiotics are often used routinely not for the treatment of sick animals, but to help them gain weight or prevent disease caused by unhealthy and unsanitary conditions.

Antibiotics are made to help us heal, but overuse speeds up the creation of resistant bacteria, which the CDC considers a top public health threat to the United States.  Antibiotic resistant bacteria travels from farms through the poor handling of equipment and animals, through airborne dust blowing off farms, or through water and soil that has been polluted with contaminated feces.

We must eliminate the practice of routinely giving human antibiotics to animals that are not sick—before it’s too late. The consequences are grave. Doctors use these medicines to control common infections and to help procedures such as chemotherapy, organ transplants and dialysis. Preserving the effectiveness of antibiotic drugs is vital to protecting both human and animal health.

Closeup of Calf - Photo Credit Beth HortsmanVisionary farmers limit antibiotic use by opting for natural methods of immune-system boosting, and by keeping their animals on pasture, which leads to healthier livestock. Some small businesses have made antibiotic-free food a cornerstone of their brand and now some large corporations, such as McDonald’s and Perdue, are choosing to phase out the use of medically important antibiotics. Consumers – like us – are helping to drive this change.

Fair Farms believes that overuse of antibiotics is not healthy for farm animals, farm workers or Maryland residents in general.

Join us in our call for fair farming that keeps antibiotics working.

 

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