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    • CommentTimeAug 14th, 2013 10:01am (Aug 14th 2013) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    A friend sent me the following worrying news item. He said it was particularly scary that it was a tiny footnote between much larger news items, as though it was hidden away.

    ABOUT 280 people are dying in Britain each year from antibiotic-resistant superbugs from chicken, spawned by the food industry's drive to maximise yields, according to a new study.

    In the first study of its kind, scientists estimate that across Europe there are 1,500 deaths a year from the bugs from chickens treated with antibiotics to counter infections.

    The international group of scientists that carried out the study included an adviser from the World Health Organisation, and said the number of avoidable deaths was "staggering".

    The evidence was welcomed by Professor Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, who had "been clear that the threat from antimicrobial resistance is very real".

    Experts say overuse of antibiotics in poultry leads to superbugs that have developed a resistance to the drugs and can cause blood poisoning in humans.

    courtesy of the Sunday Times

    Can you imagine if it had been bird flu that had killed 280 people in Britain each year, it would still be front page news! But as it's only the meat industry feeding antibiotics (and god knows what else) to the food some people will eventually eat so that they can increase margins and keep the chickens in dreadful conditions, it's suddenly acceptable. Glad to be veggie..!

    Edit: I should add... I suppose this highlights what we've been saying at hencam for years now - if you are going to eat meat (and we're not saying you shouldn't, it's just something we've decided not to eat for ethical, moral and health reasons), then you should really make an effort to buy the best and most ethically treated meat you can - I'm not 100% sure that it's only the cheaper, intensively-farmed meat that is pumped full of antibiotics but I would think that free-range organic would be better for you...
    • CommentTimeAug 14th, 2013 7:54pm (Aug 14th 2013)
    This has been known about for years, but the power of profit makes sure nothing is done. I'm not against animals being treated with antibiotics when they are I'll, but I suspect these are fed to the animals routinely to ward off any potential spread. Imagine how quickly a respiratory infection would spread under their housing conditions.

    Our doctors are blamed for antibiotic resistance, and their over-prescribing in the past played its part, but this is something that should be investigated and acted on while there's still time.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeAug 16th, 2013 6:56pm (Aug 16th 2013)
    We have the same problem over here, Neil..and they keep it quiet, just like over there.:face-sad: