There’s a lot happening on farm antibiotics in terms of new reports, proposals from the World Health Organization, a rise in the incidence of illegal antibiotic residues in food and debate within the livestock sector. Yet there is little clear sign that meaningful progress will result.

The European Commission’s proposals for new directives governing veterinary medicines and medicated feed include a ban on the preventative use of livestock feed containing antibiotics. However, farmers would still be permitted to use antibiotics for routine prevention in drinking water and top-dressing of animal feed with antibiotic powder would still be permitted, even though there were attempts to ban this almost twenty years ago. As a result, it is expected that intensive farmers will simply switch to using these alternative forms for routine prevention.

But even these modest proposals have yet to be agreed, with sectors of the industry still opposing them, and EU officials no doubt seeing that they could scupper the proposed TTIP agreement.

Cóilín Nunan from the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics was recently interviewed on RT where he explains just why we all need to continue making our voice heard on this – something you can help with if you haven’t already done so, by signing the Avaaz petition which calls for an end to the routine preventative use of antibiotics in farming.

Photograph: Oikeutta Eläimille

Sign up to our Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest SFT views and news