Experts Call for End to Overuse of Antibiotics in Livestock

AUSTRALIA - The country's experts are calling for cutting down the amounts of antibiotics being given to animals in an attempt to help address antibiotic resistance in humans.
calendar icon 20 August 2019
clock icon 1 minute read

According to a report published in the Medical Journal of Australia, researchers from Monash University and Alfred Health have discovered that on an average, 182 tonnes of antibiotics were sold for use on animals every year between 2005 and 2010, while 121 tonnes on humans during the same period.

According to the report, "The increasing intensification of modern food animal production has resulted in an increase in antimicrobial use in livestock, for both therapeutic and non-therapeutic purposes.

"There are a number of mechanisms by which antimicrobial use in animals affects resistance in human pathogens, such as transmission by direct contact and indirectly, through food consumption and environmental contamination."

Antibiotic use in animal production has been a major cause for concern for several decades, with studies and research pointing out that lessening use of antimicrobials in animals leads to reduced resistance in humans.

According to the study, the use of antimicrobials in animals should be reduced in non-therapeutic circumstances such as growth control.

In addition, it has been discovered that the spread of pathogens should be better controlled before antibiotics are required, such as through vaccination and better designed production facilities.

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