We must cut livestock antibiotics

Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated that the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a “very real and worrying threat”

Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated that the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a “very real and worrying threat”

First published in Letters by

LESS than a month ago, the first case of the deadly MRSA bug was recorded in a UK pig.

MRSA is a super-bug resistant to all antibiotics.

It poses a significant risk to humans and was listed on the death certificates of 292 people in England and Wales in 2012.

Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated that the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a “very real and worrying threat” that threatened to send medicine “back to the dark ages”.

Attention has focused on the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics by doctors even when they know these will not treat a patient’s condition. It is not the only problem.

The Government must ban the routine administration of antibiotics as growth promoters to livestock, because this misuse is encouraging the development of super-bugs that threaten us all.

Elsewhere in the world such use of antibiotics has been banned or constrained.

In the Netherlands, for example, the use of antibiotics to promote livestock growth has dropped 65 per cent in six years, while in the UK it continues to rise.

To protect human health in the long term this agricultural/industrial use of antibiotics must be banned.

Christian Vassie, Blake Court, Wheldrake, York.

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