Saturday, 16 February 2019

Antibiotics still being used to 'fatten' animals in 45 countries despite health warnings

Antibiotics. Image for illustration only

Farmers in 45 countries still use antibiotics to boost animal growth, despite warnings from health experts and bans on the practice, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday (Feb 14).

Of 155 countries that reported data between 2015 and 2017 for an OIE update on use of drugs in livestock farming, 45 said antibiotics were given to animals to prevent infections and fatten them up.

The use of antibiotics to promote growth in healthy animals has been banned in Europe since 2006 and in the United States since 2017 because it fuels the development of dangerous drug-resistant superbug infections in people.

The OIE report said that of the 45 countries reporting continued antibiotic use for growth promotion, 18 are in the Americas, 14 are in Asia and Oceania and 10 are in Africa.

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