Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Stop Using Antibiotics in Healthy Animals

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Stop Using Antibiotics in Healthy Animals

Article excerpt

Farmers and the food industry should stop using antibiotics to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals, to help prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance in humans, according new WHO recommendations.

The new recommendations and best practice statements, contained in the WHO Guidelines on use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals released last month, aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their use in livestock.

Over-use and misuse of antibiotics in animals and humans is contributing to the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. Some types of bacteria that cause serious infections in humans have already developed resistance to most or all of the available treatments, and there are few options in the research and development pipeline.

In some countries about 80% of total consumption of antibiotics that are important for human health is in the animal sector, mainly for growth promotion in healthy animals. Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria that emerge in animals can transfer resistance to human pathogens through direct contact between humans and animals, through food and through the environment. …

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