Stop using antibiotics in healthy farm animals, WHO warns

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Describing a lack of effective antibiotics for humans as “a security threat” on a par with “a sudden and deadly disease outbreak”, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “strong and sustained action across all sectors” was vital to turn back the tide of antibiotic resistance and “keep the world safe.”

The United Nations agency “strongly recommends an overall reduction in the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals, including complete restriction of these antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention without diagnosis,” it said in a statement.

Any use of antibiotics promotes the development and spread of so-called superbugs — multi-drug-resistant infections that can evade the medicines designed to kill them.

In some countries, around 80 per cent of total consumption of medically important antibiotics is in the animal sector, according to the WHO statement. (…)

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