US Pigs Feast on Antibiotics

Excessive, unnecessary use of medically important antibiotics in livestock production is spurring antibiotic resistance in animals and humans, confirms a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report published this week.

The proportion of these antibiotics sold for use in pigs in the US (27.1%) is almost equivalent to that for human medicine (27.6%). The report urges the pork industry to reserve antibiotics for treating infections and controlling disease outbreaks.

Per kilogram of pig, US producers use over 7 times the antibiotics of Denmark and the Netherlands. Those countries raise livestock in similar conditions, but have slashed antibiotic use in pig production by 27% and 57%, respectively, since 2009. 


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