Farm animals in USA consume about 80% of antibiotics

cowsIn 2008 the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP) released a ground breaking report analyzing the negative impacts of the USA factory farm system on public health, environment, animal welfare and rural communities. The report published in April of 2008 called Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America also highlighted that about 80% of the antibiotics found in the country is fed to animals in these farms. This has a very negative effect on the animals as well as the humans who consume their meat.

Five years later, a new report by the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future shows that “there has been an appalling lack of progress”. The Fall 2013 report, Industrial Food Animal Production in America: Examining the Impact of the Pew Commission’s Priority Recommendations, demonstrates that the USDA and FDA have failed to take any major action to push Congress to address the issues plaguing the animal agriculture industry. The only silver lining to this dark cloud of concern is that the public is more concerned with their food system. This means that questions and attention to this problem is being highlighted by the public, just not by the government.

The report pushed forward the following recommendations to help clean up and restore the food system in the United States.

  1. Ban the non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials in food animal production to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance to medically important antibiotics and other antimicrobials.
  2. Define non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials as any use in food animals in the absence of microbial disease or documented microbial disease exposure.
  3. Treat industrial farm animal production (IFAP) as an industrial operation and implement a new system to deal with farm waste, especially liquid waste systems, to replace the inflexible and broken system that exists today and to require permitting of more operations
  4. Phase out the most intensive and inhumane production practices within a decade to reduce the risk of IFAP to public health and improve animal wellbeing (i.e., gestation crates, restrictive veal crates, and battery cages).
  5. Aggressively enforce the existing anti-trust laws applicable to food animal production and where, needed, pass additional laws to provide a level playing field for producers.
  6. Increase funding for, expand and reform, animal agriculture research.

Published by Hokuma Karimova

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