Everything in Moderation, Including Antibiotics
Chicken Scratch is an ASPCA Blog feature that highlights interesting news about farm animals and farm animal welfare.
- In the first of a new series of stories titled “Farmaceuticals,” Reuters reports that “Major U.S. poultry firms are administering antibiotics to their chicken flocks far more pervasively than regulators realize, posing a potential risk to human health.” In a nutshell: overusing antibiotics in meat production can cause antibiotic resistance in humans and animals—these lifesaving drugs may cease to work for us when we really need them. The idea is enough to make us sick!
- ...Speaking of which, the Obama Administration recently announced a “comprehensive set of new federal actions to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and protect public health.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been named as a co-chair of the Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, and has been asked to take steps to monitor and further control the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals.
- Consumer rights group Food & Water Watch recently filed a lawsuit against the USDA to stop the implementation of the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) rules. This system could “turn over key food safety inspection functions to poultry companies with limited oversight by USDA inspectors.” We’re definitely not sold on the idea that company employees, without adequate training, can be tasked with removing potentially contaminated meat from their own slaughter lines.
- On a lighter note, your heart will melt when you watch this family of tiny piglets!