Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Daily Mail on the dangers of MRSA in pigs.

Predictably, the Daily Mail repeats the Soil Association line that MRSA is a foreign danger to uninfected British pigs.  However, any idea that British pigs are currently clear of MRSA will not stand scrutiny.

Obviously the Soil Association, Britain's organic farming movement, are standing up to pressure to keep quiet about MRSA and pigs.

Anyway, takes the heat off the writer for the moment. A break is always welcome after a full decade of struggle.

He is fed up with being an “unpatriotic” unpopular voice in the wilderness, simply for trying to protect British children from the results of corrupt government veterinarians risking human lives to try to cover up their past mistakes and deceptions.

Full Daily Mail article here

Deadly superbugs are spread miles from farms on the feet of flies

By David Derbyshire

Last updated at 9:45 AM on 26th January 2011

...Organic farmers said the study highlighted the dangers of overusing antibiotics on farms and called for an urgent inquiry into the links between livestock and superbugs.

Although drug resistant bacteria such as MRSA are usually regarded as problems for hospitals, there is increasing evidence linking superbugs to farms.

Until the mid 2000s, farmers traditionally used antibiotics to speed up weight gain in pigs, chickens and other livestock. After they were banned as growth promoters by the EU, their use has fallen slightly in the UK.

However, campaign groups says farmers are still too dependent on antibiotics for minor ailments and that overuse increases the risk of bacteria evolving resistance to drugs needed to cure disease in people.

The new study, published in the journal BioMed Central Microbiology, compared bacteria in farmyard pigs with bacteria in house flies and cockroaches found on the same American farms.

Not only were the same types of bacteria discovered in insects and pigs, there was also a high rate of antibiotic resistance...

...Richard Young from the Soil Association said: 'There is solid evidence that the overuse of antibiotics in pig farming is causing and amplifying the problem of MRSA in pigs. There needs to be an urgent review of the overuse of antibiotics before pig MRSA becomes established in British pigs.

'The Soil Association is calling for more sensitive testing of UK pigs - this has already happened in other EU countries -, restrictions of live imports and more testing for any imports that are coming in.

'MRSA has yet to be found in British pigs, but if it is introduced it would spread rapidly, as it has done in other countries in Europe with high-use of antibiotics such as the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

'This has serious implications for both animals and humans. Excessive antibiotic use in farm animals leads to higher levels of antibiotic resistance, which can have consequences for animal health and welfare, as diseases become untreatable, and for human health, when resistant bacteria transfer from animals to humans.'