OIE reports that antibiotics are still being used to boost animal growth

According to reporting by Thomson Reuters, farmers in 45 countries still use antibiotics to boost animal growth
calendar icon 15 February 2019
clock icon 2 minute read

Farmers are still engaging in this practice despite warnings from health experts and bans on the practice in many parts of the world.

Of 155 countries that reported data for 2015 to 2017 in an OIE update on use of drugs in livestock farming, 45 said antibiotics were given to animals to prevent infections and fatten them up. Among those, 12 countries said a “last resort” drug known as colistin is still being used as a growth promoter.

The use of antibiotics to promote growth in healthy animals has been banned in Europe Union since 2006 and in the United States since 2017 because it fuels the development of dangerous drug-resistant superbug infections in people.

The OIE report said that of the 45 countries reporting continued antibiotic use for growth promotion, 18 are in the Americas, 14 are in Asia and Oceania and 10 are in Africa.

“This practice puts at risk many of the medicines that we take for granted today, for both animals and humans,” it said.

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Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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