Antibiotics in factory farming

Does it matter whether your sausages come from a free-range farm like Louise’s?

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide.  The primary cause is their widespread over-use which occurs in medicine and also in food production. In America about 80% of antibiotic use is in farming.

Animals are often fed antibiotics at low doses for disease prevention.  In America, but not the EU, they are also used for growth promotion. Those antibiotics are transferred to you via meat and through manure used as fertilizer for crops.

Antibiotics are needed in factory farming because of the crowded, unsanitary living conditions – yet another reason to buy free-range.  Of the ~9 million pigs slaughtered each year in Britain, only about 1.5% are organic.Factory farmed pigs. Credit: Compassion in World Farming

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention4 (CDC) estimates 22% of antibiotic-resistant illness in humans is linked to food and recommends that antibiotics use in livestock be phased out.

American researchers have found MRSA in pigs and workers at factory farms but not in pigs on antibiotic-free farms.  Once MRSA is introduced, it could spread to other animals and the workers, as well as to their families and friends.

Over-exposure to antibiotics takes a heavy toll on your gastrointestinal health.  Your immune system is mostly down to the good bacteria in your gut so you can become more vulnerable to diseases.  We can support the Soil Association’s ‘Not in My Banger‘ campaign against the escalation of industrial pig farming in the UK for the sake of our own health as well as to oppose the keeping of wonderful, intelligent pigs in such unnatural conditions.

Not in my banger