Animal Agriculture Uses Most Antibiotics Worldwide, Says New Report

Antibiotic overuse can foster the growth of 'superbugs'
A large piece of smoked meat
The report says twice as many antibiotics are used on animals as humans

A new report has identified the animal agriculture industry as the largest consumer of antibiotics worldwide.

According to the report from Rural Investment Support For Europe, research has shown that a large portion of said antibiotics are used on healthy animals, to increase their size and better facilitate intensive farming.

Antibiotic overuse has been connected to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which allows for the development of 'superbugs' - harmful microorganisms that cause illnesses resistant to treatment with antibiotics.

10 million deaths

According to the report, AMR is currently responsible for the death of 700,000 people annually - a threat not forecasted to dissipate.

It says: "AMR has been defined as one of the most important global economic and societal challenges facing mankind and is projected to be the cause of death of 10 million people annually by 2050 globally."

Meat and a meat tenderiser
AMR is forecasted to be the cause of 10 million human deaths by 2050

Ineffective ban

While the EU banned the use of antibiotics on healthy animals for growth promotion in 2006, the report indicates little has changed since.

It says that many farmers have instead claimed 'therapeutic use' of antibiotics.


Superbugs continue to run rampant - in Europe and beyond.

In the UK, the Food Standards Authority (FSA) identified record levels of superbug contamination in supermarket chicken, while in the US, a recent report on supermarket meats showed a superbug contamination rate of 62 percent.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Emily Court is a passionate ethical vegan from Eastern Canada. She is a Challenge 22 Mentor, Digital Writer, and experienced animal advocate driven by issues of animal liberation and social justice. She studied at Dalhousie University, where her thesis highlighted intercultural and gender relations. She is an established public speaker, writer, and world traveller with a drive to provide a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. You can follow her on Instagram @emily.j.court or on Twitter @_EmilyJCourt_.

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