Antibiotic use on Irish Farms

Mar 06, 2013, 10:49 AM

Bacteria aren’t always fussy about where to settle down and multiply; the gut of a human, a pig or a cow will do nicely. But they’re not the only thing we share with farm animals. When the bacteria turn nasty, we use many of the same antibiotics to treat our infections.

We know that antibiotic resistance is a problem. “One of the most serious public health challenges we face”, says the head of the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control, Dr Marc Sprenger. Hardly a surprise, given that it kills 25,000 Europeans each year.

The European Commission wants to do something about this. They published a plan in 2011. Half of the actions address use of antibiotics on farms.

But it turns out that we know little about antibiotic use on Irish farms, because the Department of Agriculture does not collect the information.

Ella McSweeney has written on this issue for the Irish Times (below) and she joined RTE Radio 1's Pat Kenny to discuss...

Irish Times article -

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