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A new report has blasted the U.S. beef industry for its ‘overuse’ of antibiotics.
Written by David Willinga, M.D from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the report describes antibiotic resistance as ‘one of the gravest threats to our health’.
The report found that 42 percent of all medically important antibiotics sold for use in U.S. livestock operations are for cattle, and that antibiotic sales for meat and poultry production ‘far outstrip sales for human use’.
‘Unnecessary and hazardous’
It also states how routine antibiotic use is ‘the norm on U.S. feedlots’ where the medication is added to the feed for entire herds of cattle – even when no animals are sick.
“The [World Health Organization] discourages any routine antibiotic use in livestock. It considers this practice unnecessary and hazardous precisely because it contributes to expanding antibiotic resistance,” the report reads.
‘Ingrained in the industry’
According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CDRAP), Willinga said: “The problems with the overuse of antibiotics that are important to people is really sort of ingrained in the industry.
“They have the power to change it, but it’s going to take leadership, and they haven’t been willing to take that on.”
You can read the full report here