Ceftiofur largely misused in animals on American dairy farms


Ceftiofur is one of the most potent antibiotics that U.S. cattle and dairy farmers use, and it’s being misused on farms across America, reports Reuters.

Ceftiofur is one of the drugs in the antibiotics class cephalosporins, which also includes the drug used to fight pneumonia, meningitis and salmonella. The problem with ceftiofur? Antibiotic-resistant bacteria could develop in animals, which could infect people and resist conventional medicine.

From Reuters:

“Since last year, records kept by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that traces of ceftiofur were found at illegal levels in slaughtered animals more frequently than with any other drug. In 2013, ceftiofur alone accounted for one-fourth of all residue violations logged by the USDA, the data show.”

Traces of the drug that were found in animal carcasses suggests that the drugs were given to animals soon before they were killed. This also suggests that farmers will use the drug to keep an animal alive long enough to take it to a slaughterhouse. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture tested 225,000 animal carcasses for drug residues in 2013, ceftiofur was the most frequently found substance, just above penicillin.

Repercussions for farmers found guilty of using ceftiofur are light; the FDA sends a warning letter and evaluates the farmer’s operation. If practices are kosher, the case is closed and no further action is taken.

Via: Reuters > On American dairy farms, sharp rise in the misuse of a potent but risky drug

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