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Factory Farms Leading to Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Since the 1900s antibiotics have been used to treat illnesses and reduce the numbers of deaths and are now used in animals. But this use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria…
And now that factory farms use these drugs the amount of drug resistant bacteria has increased. Approximately 80% of the antibiotics sold in the United States aren’t used on humans at all. They are actually used in meat and poultry production. This is to offset the poor living conditions in factory farms.
A factory farm is a huge industrial operation that raises large numbers of animals for food. Over 99% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, which focus on profit and efficiency at the expense of animal welfare.
CDDEP worked on MSRA and by observing the number of MSRA hospitalizations that occurred they concluded…
In 1999 there were 125,000 people with MSRA and in 2005 there was 275,000. That is a staggering 120% increase in 6 years. Just imagine how much it has increased by now.
U.S testing showed that 14% of factory farmed chickens tested positive for salmonella, and of these chickens, 68% had salmonella, which were resistant to at least one strain of antibiotic. These superbugs are getting worse the more we abuse the use of antibiotics and in 2013 two million Americans suffered from illness and 23,000 died due to antibiotic resistant pathogens, for which at least 22% can be directly attributed to animal agriculture. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria sicken Two million Americans every year, and 23,000 die from these infections.
Research has shown that people that work with livestock are more likely to carry antibiotic resistant bacteria on or in their bodies. This happened to Russ Kremer, who was a hog farmer from Missouri Russ was cut by one of his Yorkshire boars. At the time he thought it was nothing just an ordinary cut but soon it began to swell and eventually he had to take antibiotics, which were not working. After a few months, a strong version of the antibiotic cephalosporin was given to him that managed to beat the mega bug. This is a big issue that is very real and soon could become a bigger threat than it already is. But this can be resolved if factory farming organisations change their practices and raise their livestock in a larger, more sanitary space and without constant consumption of antibiotics. With a little money given to them by the Government all of this could be accomplished.
More than one fifth of the illnesses which were found to be resistant to antibiotics originated from animal foods. This will only rise unless something is done to stop this. These food factories are becoming more like disease factories.
At the moment the only method of treating the antibiotic resistant bacteria is to create even stronger antibiotics but eventually the bacteria will become resistant to the stronger antibiotics and after that even stronger antibiotics must be made and the process repeats itself. How long can this go on for?
All of this is happening because factory farms confine so many animals in one place that they are barely able to clean the place and this causes a build up of waste. The waste build up can cause respiratory problems, skin infections, nausea, depression, and even death for people who live near factory farms. Hog, chicken and cattle waste has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Things are only getting worse and even though most of these factory-farming organisations will tell you nothing is going wrong research is saying otherwise.
This is horrible and must be stopped. What if you turned out to have one of these mega viruses? A U.S study showed, 838 children who were critically ill from H1N1 infections; most had chronic diseases or other factors that might have compromised their health. Seventy-five children in the study died. 251 otherwise healthy children, 18 died, and six of these children had MRSA. "It's very uncommon in the U.S. to lose healthy kids to viral diseases," Randolph said. "Many had a necrotizing pneumonia, or a flesh-eating type of infection that eats away at the lung." And they are only increasing, getting stronger and there isn’t many people trying to fix it. But there is still hope. If the Government gave some money to factory farmers and the factory farmers changed their methods, in time this problem could be dealt with.
The more we abuse these antibiotics on animals who, most of the time aren’t even ill the less effective they become and the more we suffer.