Antibiotics Used in Cattle

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Antibiotics in Animals

Antibiotics in feed animals are administered at nontherapeutic levels in feed and water to promote growth and improve feed efficiency. This practice has been shown to select for antibiotic resistance in the animals themselves, subsequent animal-based food products, and in water, soil, air samples collected around animal feeding operations. It is estimated that 60-80% of antibiotics produced in the U.S. are administered in feed to healthy livestock at nontherapeutic levels. Antimicrobial resistance is a growing concern in human medicine, and concern has been expressed that use of antimicrobials in feed animals may be a contributing factor.

Most people, especially parents, expect for physicians to administer antibiotics whenever they or their children contract an illness. Antibiotics are thought to be fast acting and a guarantee cure. When an antibiotic does not kill the entire infection it is targeting this would be considered a misuse of the drug.

Finally, if the patient is prescribed antibiotics, he or she must be responsible and complete the entire prescribed course of antibiotics. This will prevent the production of resistant “super bugs” and prevent the need for new antibiotics to be created. In order for the supply of antibiotics to decrease the demand for it must first decrease, unless proper knowledge and effective practices are utilized this antibiotic problem will persist.

I feel we should not use antibiotics in animals unless they are sick or have been exposed to an illness. We raise our own cows and they receive an antibiotic shot when they come home from the sale barn because you do not always know what they are exposed to while there. They are fed non medicated food, and if given any antibiotics are weaned before butchering. I think it should be a law this happens.

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