The cattle disease rinderpest that has devastated animal herds for centuries no longer exists, making it the first-ever animal illness eradicated by humankind, world animal health body OIE has reported. The 198 countries with rinderpestsusceptible animals have been declared free of the disease, also known as cattle plague. It caused major outbreaks of famine by killing hundreds of millions of cattle in Europe, Africa and Asia.
It is the second disease to be fully eliminated due to human efforts, following smallpox in humans in 1980.
U.S. Regulator Sued Over Superbugs
Acoalition of consumer advocacy groups is suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to force a ban on antibiotics in animal feed if they are not being used to treat illnesses, claiming they lead to drug-resistant “superbugs.”
“We’ve been fighting the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock for over 30 long years,” Margaret Mellon of the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a statement.
“We hope this lawsuit will finally compel the FDA to act with an urgency commensurate with the magnitude of the problem.”
The FDA, which regulates the use of antibiotics in livestock, allows some non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in feed even though it said 30 years ago that those practices were unsafe, according to the lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Those drugs, usually given in doses too low to treat disease, are used for such purposes as promoting growth in animals.
In 1977, the FDA said that using penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed could lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could harm humans who eat the meat, according to the lawsuit.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), one of the groups involved with the lawsuit, also filed a petition on May 25 calling for the U. S Agriculture Department to require testing ground meat and poultry for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and to ban the sale of products containing four strains of salmonella.