16 Nov Farmers are frontline defenders against antibiotic resistance
Every minute one person around the world dies from an infectious disease that has become resistant to antibiotics. A growing list of diseases, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis or sepsis (blood infections) are becoming more difficult or impossible to treat.
Antibiotic resistance is making organ transplantations and surgeries, even routine ones, more dangerous, for the lack of antibiotics that can prevent and treat infections, especially hospital-borne ones.
On the other hand, foodborne infections, especially those caused by Salmonella sp., E.coli and Campylobacter, are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. Treatment failure may result in longer illnesses, more severe symptoms and even death.
Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
Farmers are frontline defenders against antibiotic resistance
The world needs to change the way it uses antibiotics and the poultry and livestock sectors have the responsibility to prevent the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in farm animals. If we want to feed a growing population and keep the antibiotics working, our industry needs to become more sustainable.
When we use antibiotics excessively or inappropriately in the farms, we contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria will make the diseases in our own farm more difficult to treat, will spread to the environment through the waste of the animals, will contaminate the food chain and will arrive to human beings.
Farmers and feed formulators can make a big difference in the spread of antibiotic resistance, taking these steps:
- Not use antibiotics for growth promotion or to prevent diseases in healthy animals.
- Only give antibiotics to diseased animals under veterinary supervision. The veterinarian is the professional who can decide which antibiotic is suitable to treat the disease effectively and to design a proper treatment plan.
- Vaccinate animals to reduce the need for antibiotics and use alternatives to antibiotics when available.
- Improve biosecurity, cleaning practices and vaccination programs to prevent infections. A cleaner farm will also yield better profits for the farmers.
Phytogenics in the fight against antibiotic resistance
Phytogenics are the natural alternative for farmers and feed formulators to reduce or eliminate the use of antibiotics, especially to promote growth and prevent disease, as we discussed in this article .
Phytogenics are safe, have a broad spectrum of action, do not create resistances and many phytogenic products, such as those produced by PlusVet Animal Health, have a positive economic payback.
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