“Animal Agriculture Boosts Antibiotic Resistance,”
The Epoch Times, June 24, 2009
Cephalosporin resistance appears to be “moving
lockstep with use of the drug in poultry production.”
“The way these birds are forced to live is the opposite of what nature intended. They’re living in a very intensive type of slum situation where diseases are going to advance and become more virulent and it’s a paradise for pathogens. . . .” UPC President Karen Davis quoted in “Animal Agriculture Boosts Antibiotic Resistance,” by Joan Delaney, in The Epoch Times, about the abuse and misuse of antibiotics in farmed animals worldwide.
In Canada, for example, “the use of cephalosporin in chicken hatcheries across the country is causing resistance in humans to this class of antibiotics, according to a recent report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).” To read the entire article, click on: www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/18597/.
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Excerpt from “Animal Agriculture Boosts Antibiotic Resistance,” by Joan Delaney:
Paradise for Pathogens
“The industry does not just use antibiotics to control disease levels, they also use antibiotics for the equal if not surpassing reason in meat-type animals to enhance growth rate and size,” says Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns, a Virginia-based organization dedicated to the respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Davis, who just released an updated version of her book Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs, says the stress, overcrowding, and unsanitary conditions inherent in animal agriculture foster a host of diseases, hence the need for high antibiotic use.
Davis lives in a big poultry producing area on the eastern shore of Virginia, where it’s not uncommon for as many as 30,000 birds to be housed in a 600-foot building.
“The way these birds are forced to live is the opposite of what nature intended. They’re living in a very intensive type of slum situation where diseases are going to advance and become more virulent and it’s a paradise for pathogens - that’s just the reality of how the birds are living,” she says.
Poultry litter, an important part of big broiler [chicken] operations, is also a culprit in the problem of resistance. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that litter from industrial chicken houses harbours a “huge reservoir” of resistant genes, called integrons, which “promote the spread and persistence of clusters of varied antibiotic resistance genes.”*
Such litter, according to Davis, is rendered and reused in livestock feed, fertilizer, and other areas in the animal agriculture industry.
A study by the Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists found that tetracycline, penicillin, erythromycin, and other antimicrobials that are valuable for humans are used extensively in the absence of disease for non-therapeutic purposes in livestock production.
*See p. 107 in Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs.