The news article from the Health section of the New York Times shows us the seemingly indiscriminate use of antibiotics on farm animals such as chickens, turkeys, cows, and pigs. Incidentally, these animals are raised for human consumption. Meat and poultry producers are the biggest market for antibiotics in America. The producers can easily purchase these drugs over the counter. These individuals use antibiotics to treat animal infections or enhance their growth.
However, the producers are not required to give a report regarding their use of antibiotics on the animals. This is a cause of concern among scientists because there is a lack of information about the relationship on the use of antibiotics on animals and how it possibly affects antibiotic-resistant diseases among the people. This is a public health concern that should be given due attention.
There are infections that could previously be treated simply with the use of penicillin tablets but now require those infected to be hospitalized and be given antibiotics through intravenous treatment. These infections could even cause death. People are showing resistance to antibiotics which reduces the effectiveness of these drugs to treat certain diseases. It is possible that these antibiotics are overused by the producers which in turn affects the people who consume the meat of those animals.
Scientists are adamant to give a conclusion about how the use of antibiotics on animals affects infectious diseases among humans because of the lack of detailed information from meat and poultry producers regarding their use of the drugs. It is a call for government officials to regulate the use of antibiotics on farm animals and identify agencies who should really be accountable and responsible in ensuring that meat and poultry producers are abiding by the laws. This is to safeguard the health of the public and preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating infections both among humans and animals.