Each year more people die from bacterial infections that were once preventable. Scientists discovered that antibiotic abuse in farm factory livestock is so prevalent that it has broken the agricultural barrier and is now in wildlife populations.
More than 80 percent of all prescribed antibiotics in America are unnecessarily prescribed to help inhumanely confined livestock survive the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) long enough to make it to slaughter. Unfortunately, the excessive annual dosing of 30,000 tons in the United States has led to the creation of superbugs. This is a man-made dilemma because the antibiotics used on these animals are precisely the same medications administered to humans to help fight infections. This realization had scientists explore dangerous zoonotic bacterial infections and any potential human resistance to antibiotics because of meat consumption. Studies indicate that regular consumption of such meat appears to be a leading causal factor for the aggressive rise in superbugs like carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The next question explored is possibly more sobering. Has the resulting superbug epidemic moved beyond the livestock-human barricade and found its way into wildlife populations?
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) received independent surveys that indicate more than 40 percent of antibiotic laden livestock remains are dumped into landfills, never consumed. Researchers, like Julie Ellis of Tufts University, have published results indicating that birds have built up a human-derived resistance to antibiotics used to treat staph infections, pneumonia, and meningitis from exposure to medicated livestock remains. Further research indicates aggressive bacterial mutations are surfacing in marine life and landlocked wildlife, with evidence to justify further research as to whether the drug-resistant bacteria are thriving in soil, water, and sand. With the rapid evolution of this problem, it is within reason to conclude that if left unchecked staph, pneumonia, and meningitis are likely to produce more deadly results, and since companies like Monsanto and Pfizer cannot control nature's response, these companies are placing the existence of human and animal life directly in harm's way.
For those interested, sign the Stop Antibiotic Abuse and Ban of Non-Therapeutic use of Antibiotics on Livestock.
This is Deb Duxbury, for Animal Life, reminding you to please spay or neuter your pet.