WHO Urges For Restricted Use Of Antibiotics In Food Animal Production

In a world where on one hand people are finding substitutes for meat, WHO is striving to make animals healthier. Stat News reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is urging the countries worldwide for a restricted use of antibiotics in animal food production. This can be done by stopping the use of these antibiotics as a routine for growth promotion and prevention of diseases.

Preserving Antibiotic Effectiveness

The recommendation given by the WHO on Tuesday has the aim of preservation of the effectiveness of antibiotics. Several antibiotics are given to animals being used for food production world over and this is causing antibiotic resistance amongst bacteria. The agricultural however is resistant to these guidelines as it is difficult to cope with costly treatments of the infections which spread throughout the farm.

“WHO is fully aware of the impacts of these guidelines that may happen beyond the public health sector,” said Dr. Kazuaki Miyagishima, director of the department of food safety and zoonoses told Stat News. “These impacts may be positive or negative. WHO considers, however, that the need to preserve antimicrobials or antibiotics for human medicine by far outweighs possible impacts in some other sectors.”

WHO Urges For Restricted Use Of Antibiotics In Food Animal Production

These recommendations are mere guidelines and WHO does not have the power to make the countries follow them. Also, the antibiotics have been used for decades in food animal production industry and there is also scientific evidence that giving chickens these drugs make them grow quicker and bigger.

WHO is essentially trying to stop the practice of giving antibiotics to the entire flock for disease prevention. It is further recommending antibiotics which can be given to ailing animals. “That’s why the WHO guidelines are meaningful, they make clear that in order to stop the misuse of antibiotics in the meat industry we need policies that prohibit antibiotic use for both growth promotion and disease prevention where no illness is present,” said Matthew Wellington, antibiotics program director at U.S. PIRG.