Massive over-use of antibiotics in factory farming threatens a world without effective cures for bacterial infections. Confined and stressful conditions maximise productivity but suppress animal immune systems, increasing the need for antibiotics.
A world without effective antibiotics is a terrifying but real prospect. Now, the situation is so acute that the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Margaret Chan, has warned of "a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will no longer have a cure and once again, kill unabated" (7th April 2011).
Every year, 80% of farm animals in the EU spend their days confined in sheds, pens and even cages; many growing at an unnatural rate with little to do but eat grain and imported soya; billions dying in under-regulated slaughterhouses or prematurely from injury or exhaustion.
A new Alliance
Compassion in World Farming has joined with two other established organisations, Sustain and the Soil Association, to form the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics. Together they aim to halt the routine use of antibiotics in farm animals.
A new report published by Compassion, 'Case Study of a Health Crisis', goes into all the detail on this vital medical and animal health issue. It explains why over-use of antibiotics in factory farming, especially at low doses over several days, is contributing to the huge threat of a world without effective cures for bacterial infections.