Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Vet warns of serious risk to human health

The Green Party calls for action for the drastic reduction of antibiotic usage on farms and welcomes the important report from Compassion in World Farming, the Soil Association and Sustain, which demonstrates the seriousness of the issue and proposes practical steps to tackle it.

Caroline Allen, vet and Green Party Spokesperson on animal issues, said, "I am pleased to see this issue getting the prominent coverage it deserves. With pharmaceutical companies able to advertise antibiotics direct to farmers and animals kept in intolerable conditions with high levels of stress and avoidable disease, it is no surprise that antibiotics have seemed to be an easy answer. Unfortunately the price we are paying for cheap meat is a rise in antibiotic resistance, which is a serious threat to human health."

The European Parliament recently voted to support an end to the prophylactic use of antibiotics in livestock farming. This routine use of antibiotics in animal husbandry has been a longstanding issue for the Greens and we have now urged the European Commission to develop proposals that will bring an end to this practice.

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South-East England, said, "Antibiotics are being used in this way to perpetuate unnaturally high densities of animals in factory-farming systems, a highly polluting and inhumane practice. I have visited successful organic farms where antibiotics are not used in this way. Given the damaging effects on animals and humans alike, it is now imperative that European farmers move towards a more sustainable and healthy model of farming that does not compromise the health of either animals or consumers."

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