Hoa's policy paper

Hoa Le
Policy Paper
Inhibit The Non-Therapeutic Uses of Antibiotics
in Swine for The State of Iowa
As the human population continues growing, livestock are extremely high in demand each day. Regularly, farmers feed antibiotics to livestock since they can no longer afford to lose any more livestock from illness or infectious diseases. As it becomes more important to treat sick and diseased animals, most of the antibiotics are administered as feed additives to speed the growth of poultry, swine, and beef cattle (1, 2, 3).
The non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics involve long-term, low-level dosing which construct a suitable environment for bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance (4). Approximately, 10.3 million pounds of antimicrobials are used alone in the swine industry each year for non-therapeutic purposes (5).The antibiotics such as tetracycline, sulfonamide, and penicillin used for animals are similar or identical to ones used in human medicine (1). Because of these similarities, if resistant bacteria from farm animals pass through the food chain and infect people, treatment for those people will be difficult due to the ineffective medication (2, 4).
Escherichia coli, streptococci, bacillus, and staphylococci are examples of bacteria found in livestock and have resistance to multiple drugs (5). More than twelve different antibiotics are mixed and used to feed livestock, thus bacteria become resistant to multiple drugs (1). These bacteria create a huge dilemma for people who are sick from consuming infected meat or from inhaling airborne bacteria in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Veterinarians also have difficulty in giving prescriptions due to limited treatment options and increase virulence (2).
According to the research Airborne multi-drug resistant bacteria isolated from a concentrated swine feeding operation, an estimated 110 million tons of contaminated swine wastes comprised of antibiotic resistant bacteria are produced at swine CAFOs in the United States annually (5). Soils and groundwater have been contaminated because farmers carelessly lay the wastes on the ground (5). Also, the study shows the air within swine CAFOs has been impure with antibiotic resistant bacteria (5). Treating swine with antibiotics has created a greater potential for bacteria to become resistant, and most significantly, the bacteria can easily transmit to and infect humans through ingestion of pork products and environmental pathways (5).
Bacteria become more powerful and resistant to new antibiotics largely due to the over use and misuse of antibiotics. Controlling the use of antibiotics in livestock, especially in swine, is the most effective approach which will lead to decline in bacteria resistance. In order to control the use of antibiotics in swine in the state of Iowa, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) will pass the following policy, and it will be enforced immediately.

A.Farmers who raise swine in Iowa can buy drugs only with a prescription or veterinary permission. Antibiotics can be used to treat only sick and diseased swine.
B.Farmers must inform buyers if they have use antibiotics to treat diseases in swine so that buyers can make decisions to purchase or not. Treated livestock should be eartagged.
C.Farmers must register at the FDA website (www.fda.gov) so that the communications between the FDA and the farmers would be quicker and easier.
D.Farmers must keep electronic logs or records of their activities and budgets. The record must contain dates and details of all transactions. Each month, farmers must upload their logs or records to the FDA website.

At the end of every year, the FDA will direct a mandatory meeting with all Iowa’s swine farmers to answer any question the farmers may have. Randomly, the FDA will pick a farm and test the swine to see if they are resistant to any antibiotic. If the swine show resistance, explanation must be contained in the log; if not, farmers will be fined $100,000 for the first time. The FDA will put the farmers out of business if the second time occurs. Farmers who did not register at the FDA website, $50,000 will be fined and they must register immediately. Funding will be provided to the FDA from the Iowans' tax-money and John Morell, the swine processing company, to promote an effective policy.
Inhibiting the use of antibiotics to promote weight gain in swine and to reduce bacteria resistance in CAFOs may encounter a few problems such as an increase in pork and feed input prices and a decrease in feed efficiency and swine production. Also, the profits margin of farmers will reduce due to the slow down production rate of hogs to market and possible computer software necessary for record keeping. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Humans and swine will be less likely to get infected by bacteria. Consumers will become healthier from eating uninfected pork. Most importantly, people will spend less money on medications used to treated bacteria resistance, thus bacteria will be less resistant to multiple drugs. The ban of antibiotics in livestock has been enforced successfully in Europe without harming their economy (1). Even though Iowan farmers who raise swine will become busier from the inconvenience of keeping accurate and current records, in the long run, their hard work will pay off with a healthier environment for Iowans.

1. HSUS. “An HSUS report: Human health implications of non-therapeutic antibiotic use.” The Humane Society of the United States.(2007). Accessed 9/20/08. http://www.hsus.org/farm/resources/research/pubhealth/human_health_antibiotics.html
2. Leigh B Rosengren, Cheryl L Waldner, Richard J Reid-Smith, Patricia M Dowling, John CS Harding. “Associations between Feed and Water Antimicrobial Use in Farrow-to-Finish Swine Herds and Antimicrobial Resistance of Fecal Escherichia coli from Grow-Finish Pigs.” Microbial Drug Resistance. 13: (2007) 261-69.
3. Mary Gilchrist, Christina Greko, David Wallinga, George Beran. The potential role of concentrated animal feeding operations in infectious disease epidemics and antibiotic resistance. 115: (2007) 313-316
4. Stuart Levy, Bonnie Marshal. “Antibacterial resistance worldwide: cause, challenges and responses”. Natural Medicine. 10: (2004).
5. Amy Chapin, Ana Rule, Kristen Gibson, Timothy Buckley, Kellogg Schwab. “Airborne Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria Isolated from a Concentrated Swine Feeding Operation.” Environmental Health Perspectives.113: (2005)137-42.

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