Administration Seeks to Restrict Antibiotics in Livestock
By GARDINER HARRIS
Published: July 13, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced Monday that it would seek to ban many routine uses of antibiotics in farm animals in hopes of reducing the spread of dangerous bacteria in humans.
In written testimony to the House Rules Committee, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs, said feeding antibiotics to healthy chickens, pigs and cattle — done to encourage rapid growth — should cease. And Dr. Sharfstein said farmers should no longer be able to use antibiotics in animals without the supervision of a veterinarian.
Both practices lead to the development of bacteria that are immune to many treatments, he said.
The hearing was held to discuss a measure proposed by Representative Louise M. Slaughter, Democrat of New York and chairwoman of the Rules Committee. It would ban seven classes of antibiotics important to human health from being used in animals, and would restrict other antibiotics to therapeutic and some preventive uses. Read More
The use of antibiotics as a health tool in livestock continues to receive a lot of criticism. The problem is that no one seems to want to talk about the consequences of ending the practice. An ounce of cure is worth a pound of prevention. Countries that have banned the practice have found that they are now using more antibiotics than ever before. The health of our livestock shouldn’t be jeopardized.