WATCH: Why The Next Pandemic Could Be Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance has been described as "the greatest threat to our civilisation"


1 Minutes Read

A cow on an animal farm Antibiotic resistance is a looming threat to humanity, experts say - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

Antibiotic resistance is considered one of the biggest threats modern medicine faces. It occurs when bacteria develops the ability to fight off drugs designed to kill them. Infections they cause, therefore, can become difficult – and sometimes impossible – to treat.

We are already seeing a rise of multi-drug resistance infections, known as “superbugs.” These are resistant to most antibiotics, and sometimes even those only used as a “last resort” in medical practice.

While many people are aware of the issue of antibiotic resistance, they may not realize that animal farming is largely to blame. Human prescriptions only account for 20 percent of the antibiotics produced in the world. The remaining 80 percent go to farmed animals.

The majority of these animals are raised on factory farms. The cramped and unsanitary conditions in which they’re kept leaves them vulnerable to disease, meaning antibiotics have historically been given out to keep animals alive. Antibiotics are also used as growth hormones to fatten animals up more quickly. While this practice is illegal in some areas, including in the EU, it is still routinely carried out in some countries in the world.

Find out more about antibiotic resistance in the video below:

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