Antibiotics administered to humans in the US total about 3.3 million kilogrammes annually. Antibiotics administered to livestock, by contrast, exceed 13 million kilogrammes. Amid growing concerns about antibiotic resistant superbugs, should we worry about the amount of antibiotic use in livestock?
Antibiotic resistance in livestock: risk to humans?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that producers should use antibiotics in livestock judiciously, since they contribute to the “emergence, persistence, and spread of resistant bacteria.” Resistant pathogens in livestock are of particular concern, since they can “directly or indirectly” lead to resistant infections in humans, through meat consumption, for example.
Today, many farmers rely on antibioti ...