Animal Feeds and Antibiotic Resistance

Center for Disease Control (CDC) this week issued an Antibiotic Resistance Threat.  According to CDC, antibiotic resistance is a serious problem that is looming large. Health leaders all around the world are concerned of the "nightmare bacteria" which are developing resistance to low cost antibiotics. Health care providers in the US report that 2 million people are infected each year with such bacteria and a percent of these die.

The CDC report point a finger at the cattle and livestock industry as a culprit harboring these nightmare bacteria. Livestock industry may be consuming as much as 80 % of the antibiotics that are sold in the US, half of which may be unnecessary (Consumerist.com). CDC recommends phasing out the use of antibiotics for promoting tissue growth in live stock. Food industry's use of antibiotics today is not just for the purpose of treating sick animals but to make animals larger and to harvest more meat from them.

Meat industry in India has boomed in the past few years. Cattle industry there is rapidly adapting practices that health leaders all over the world are concerned about. Caging cattle in small spaces is the biggest reason for infections in cattle. Imported breeds of cattle (Bos Taurus) are more susceptible to Foot rot and other infections than the native cattle (Bos Indicus). Even the website of NuFlor, a manufacturer of antibiotics, carries the fact about disease resistance nature of the Indian Cow. Native cows have evolved for the Indian weather conditions-- walk long distances, conserve their body water better and are resistant to ticks.