Positions of Medical & Scientific Organizations on Antibiotic Use in Livestock Operations

Fact Sheet
February 19, 2014

Antibiotic-resistant infections lead to longer illnesses, more hospitalizations, the use of antibiotics with greater side effects, and even death when treatments fail. Resistance results from the use of antibiotics in both human medicine and in animal agriculture. Eighty percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used on cattle, pigs, and poultry, and other livestock, the vast majority to speed up growth and compensate for crowded, unsanitary conditions. In its recent report “Antibiotic Resistance Threats”, the Centers for Disease Control stated, “Up to half of antibiotic use in humans and much of antibiotic use in animals is unnecessary and inappropriate and makes everyone less safe.” In the face of a looming health crisis caused by growing antibiotic resistance, many of the nation’s leading scientific and health-focused organizations have sounded the alarm over animal uses of these drugs, as documented below