Antibiotic resistance – the impact of intensive farming on human health

Camel, food security and climate change

A report for the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics

Compassion in World Farming, the Soil Association and Sustain

Summary

Scientists and leading figures are increasingly warning of a serious health crisis in future, where some infectious diseases will no longer be treatable, if we do not urgently start using antibiotics more sparingly and intelligently. Antibiotic resistance is developing faster than new antibiotics are being developed, as finding new antibiotics is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive.

Despite previous attempts to reduce use, surveys have shown that many doctors still prescribe antibiotics far more often than necessary, a high proportion of patients still believe that antibiotics are effective against viruses, and a significant number of patients do not even complete a full course of antibiotics, sometimes saving tablets for later self-medication.

On farms, many antibiotics are used routinely for disease prevention or for the treatment of avoidable outbreaks of disease. Increasing use…

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