Monday, 25 February 2013

Ireland - over use of antibiotics in farming



The Irish are in a whistle-blowing mood. They almost say it. They almost blow the whistle on themselves and Britain. They reach the brink and then hold back.

It’s now a race as to who owns up on MRSA st398 in British and Irish pigs first, and the truth of just how long it has been covered up by the veterinary establishment.

The last out is going to get blamed by the other: routine stuff that will fool nobody except those that want to be fooled.

These islands have always been effectively a single unit for animal health.

Britain seemed to be about to own up and take the pain, but got side-tracked by horse meat.

The long and detailed Irish Times article should be read in full. We just pick some key points. You can find the whole here


The Irish Times - Monday, February 25, 2013

Fresh concerns over use of antibiotics in farming

ELLA MCSWEENEY
Horse meat is no joke. But at least it is not killing us. More than 25,000 people across Europe die each year because of bacterial infections that are impossible to treat.
As doctors prescribe ever more antibiotics to cure our ills, the bacteria which cause these infections respond by mutating, resisting and multiplying. Antibiotic resistance is a real killer...
...The danger for humans is not just the overuse of antibiotics with the consequent mutation of bacteria and their resistance to available medication. It is also the threat posed by the crossover from animal to human of infections and the bacteria required to treat them...
...A little closer to home is the story of MRSA ST398 (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus CC398). Scientists first spotted this strain nine years ago in the Netherlands. A sickly child was taken to hospital by her parents, who were pig farmers. When scientists tested the pigs, they found the same strain of Staph. aureus as was identified in the child. “Pig MRSA” was born...
...And if we don’t do this? “Then we will will have no drugs available for future generations.”
* Ella McSweeney is a radio and TV broadcaster, and presenter on RTÉ’s Ear to the Ground