ASPCA Co-Hosts Congressional Briefing on Dangers of Antibiotics for Livestock

Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 3:30pm
cow standing alone

Guest blog post from Suzanne McMillan, ASPCA Director of Farm Animal Welfare.

Last week, we helped organize a Capitol Hill briefing alerting legislators to the animal welfare dangers of misusing antibiotics—something commonly done on factory farms. While antibiotics are essential for treating sick animals, they’re often given on farms to compensate for overcrowded, filthy and stressful conditions. The horrible living conditions, coupled with the overuse of medications, create an added threat of the animals contracting a superbug that can’t be treated with antibiotics.

The briefing was hosted by Representatives Slaughter and Schakowsky, two supporters of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) bill, which aims to tackle this problem. It was gratifying to see these Congress members, who have shown interest in the human health implications of antibiotics for quite some time, showcase the animal welfare impacts, too.

Because the chicken and turkey industries, in particular are notorious for keeping birds in horrific conditions, where they live in their own waste on the floors of sheds packed with tens of thousands of birds, the ASPCA brought farmer Frank Reese to the panel to address the use of antibiotics in poultry farming. Reese raises chickens and turkeys at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch, a farm that raises heritage (non-factory farm-bred) birds on pasture, allowing them to be true to their nature. Reese explained that, in contrast with factory farmers, he avoids subtherapeutic antibiotics by raising genetically healthy birds in a low-stress, spacious, pastured environment where they do not endure mutilations.

We will continue spreading the word about the dangers of raising animals by relying on subtherapeutic antibiotics, and we hope you will, too! Check whether your senators and Congress member are co-sponsoring PAMTA. If so, thank them; if not, urge them to!

Add new comment




On 8/5/2012 anilmale cantrol called and stated that one of our cats tangles wit another cat.The man who tryed to seperate the 2 had gotten a little scrtch & called in acomplant.
This neibor wnom lives a few doors down has had complaints from us science we moved in our home from2001. Yes,a back ground of this old man whom has nothing to due with his time.

The kicker is it was not even his cat that he seperated,it was his neibor's cat..This neibore keeps the cat on her deck all day w/a leash untill she returns from work.
Just a not we live in the country,we have black bears that walk along the outside of the woods,@ night we have fox,skunks,etc.
Yes I'm very upset & have to keep my outdoor cat in house for 10 days to look for rabbies sighns.
This man never went to the Dr. for care(3 days later)& according to Animale Control his scrath wounds are almost healed.
Some one plesae give me some insight to this situation.
The ge

Chelsea Brown

As a summa cum laude graduate from the Univ. of Kentucky Animal Sciences (Pre-Vet) program, I dove into every animal related industry when the opportunity presented itself. I must say, I thought KY would be an exemplary farm animal welfare state as it is a huge agricultural center. The way chickens are literally stuffed into cages that harm their stressed bodies, pigs are kept in concrete-floored indoor pens that don't allow them to turn around (their tails are cut off shortly after birth so the close proximity of these animals doesn't give way to pigs chewing their pen mates tails off!), dairy cattle are trudging through sometimes a foot of feces and constantly injected with antibiotics (sometimes into their actual udders for mastitis), etc., I can't believe the assembly line factory method we pump out our animal products for consumption. When dogs and cats are lying on the carpeted floors of spacious houses with a family that loves them, it definitely highlights for me the fact that we act in the complete antithesis manner regarding farm animals. I'm not saying we need to give each dairy cattle a 12 acre plot and rainbows, but as humans who have shown such capability of love for animals why are farm animals treated so appallingly still? We need more people who care for animal lives like Temple Grandin did and we need them fast because as the demand increases, farms and factories are only going to try to speed up the process of production in who knows what terrible ways. Educate yourself on the truth - not just a farmer or factory worker's view. Take the time to dig and experience so you can know the reality of the situation and help educate those around you.

vetement timber...

But how about Saturday night, with the team getting the chance to travel to Brooklyn to improve to 7 0 with a victory? This would be the case, if a little Brad Stevens magic (or BradMagic as one Jeremiah Johnson likes to call it) didn take place in Miami, with the Boston Celtics dropping the Heat 111 110 on an impossible game winning shot from Jeff Green. The cover of ESPN NBA page as follows: