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Curbs Sought For Farm Antibiotic Use

Acoalition of public interest groups wants the Canadian government to end the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock production, saying it jeopardizes the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating human illness, promotes the development of resistant microbes and enables industrial operations to raise livestock in otherwise untenable conditions.

Beyond Factory Farming, the National Farmers Union (NFU), and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment want the federal government to follow the recommendations of the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) in a report issued last year.

“Sub-therapeutic antibiotics are contributing to the decline of the family farm with many family farmers feeling they need to use these measures to compete. Nothing could be further from the truth, as many markets would open up to them if these additives were not used,” the NFU’s Terry Boehm said in a release.

Although consumers are purchasing foods produced without antibiotics in ever greater numbers, Beyond Factory Farming’s Cathy Holtslander insists Canadian policy-makers must protect public health and the environment by phasing out their use.

Antibiotics are administered in animal feed to prevent disease and promote growth.

The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy report Reducing and Phasing Out the Use of Antibiotics and Hormone Growth Promoters in Canadian Agriculture can be seen at:

http://www.cielap.org/pub/pub_AHGPs.php.

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