Monday 30 May 2016
Media reports about deadly superbugs that have become resistant to antibiotics are now common .
“The effectiveness of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections in human and veterinary medicine is being seriously compromised by their widespread use in food animal production” said Bruce Poon, the Animal Justice Party’s lead senate candidate in Victoria.
“The low concentrations of antibiotics fed to animals to PREVENT illness rather than the optimal concentrations to TREAT illness are directly responsible for the creation of these superbugs.”
“Because agricultural animals are housed intensively, that is in crowded and unsanitary conditions, their risk of illness is high. To prevent it, farmers feed them a lower dose of antibiotics than that required to treat infections.”
“It is cheaper to feed them antibiotics than to create species-appropriate and clean living conditions for the animals.”
The Australian Government released its first National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy (2015-2019) last year.
According to Poon, “Although it is acknowledged in the strategy document that antimicrobial resistance affects human health, animal health, agriculture and food production, there has been no action taken.”
“The consequences of antibiotic resistance are serious: an increased number of ill people, prolonged illness, a greater risk of complications, and higher mortality rates.”
“Apart from the human pain and distress this causes, it is a big drain on the health system.”
“If we stopped housing animals in unhygienic and inhumane conditions, antibiotics would no longer be used in this way that is endangering our ability to treat illnesses.”
“The Animal Justice Party’s policy to phase out intensive animal agriculture will help to keep antibiotics working into the future for the humans and animals who need them to treat infections.”
Contacts for comment:
AJP Victorian Senate Candidate Bruce Poon: phone 0400 248 226; Email: [email protected]