Is antibiotic over-use causing MRSA in farm animals?

There’s a rather scary podcast on the Soil Association website about how intensively-farmed animals are devoloping a form of MRSA, which is spreading like “wildfire” in Europe and transferring to humans.

In Dutch hospitals a terrifying 25 per cent of all MRSA cases are now caused by the farm-animal strain, and farmers are no longer permitted in general wards without prior screening.

Scientists are blaming the over-use of antibiotics for creating the drug-resistant strain, and an almost untreatable form of e-coli, which means death for 30 per cent of people who contract it.

All of which makes a powerful case for organic farming!

2 responses to “Is antibiotic over-use causing MRSA in farm animals?

  1. Part of the reason that I went veggie over 2o years ago, was due to the use of antibiotics in meat. We are told to be so careful with taking antibiotics for a minimum of 5 days to ensure against resistance to it, but there doesn’t seem to be much national mention in the popular press about this. As someone who is also allergic to Penicillin, it is a worry. MRSA is related ( I believe, but am happy to be corrected) to the old Stapholoccoci bacteria, which is present within most of us, and only becomes a major issue when we are at a low ebb and vulnerable to infections. Child birth fever, which killed many new young mums in the days of old, had staph infections which were untreatable. Antibiotics are such a good drug, but as always, we over do things and find uses which were not the reason for them being developed. Only treating animals with Antibiotics when they are ill would make sense, but I am sure that there is some monetary reason why it makes sense to the farmers to dose the animals full of the drugs when they are healthy.

  2. I believe this completely. Besides which , who wants to take in chemicals of any kind? The reason I am wholeheartedly for organic is that I just don’t want to eat or drink pesticides. We get organic beef from a local farmer who is a herbalist. He never has the vet on his farm because his beasts are so healthy-and no antibiotics! It’s gorgeous! There must be a multitude of reasons why these bugs are so prevalent and many, I believe relate to issues around the subject of this article

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