Antibiotics are approved for therapeutic use to treat bacterial specific diseases but metaphylactic, off-label, use for all animals entering the feedlot is the current practice and is likely to be used to fatten the animals (Crowe 2014).
This sub therapeutic use of antibiotics contributes to acceleration of bacterial resistance to these antibiotics and shortens the effective product life cycle (Rérat 2012). In addition, although controversial, this practice may even contribute to antimicrobial drug resistance in the human population.
To date, there has not been a viable product to help reduce the amount of sub therapeutic metaphylactic antibiotic used to protect the health of the animal.
"When you use antibiotics in agriculture in feed to promote growth and improve economic returns, the problem is that you also put selective pressure on these organisms to develop resistance and these organisms get introduced into the food chain," he (Dr. Michael Mulvey, head of antimicrobial resistance at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg ) said. "They go from the animals to the humans".
When they start getting introduced to humans you start to getting into problems."
CBC News January 6, 2016
"Antibiotics are commonly used to promote the growth of food-producing animals and to prevent, control and treat disease.
Overuse on farms can lead to resistant bacteria that cause infections in both animals and humans and could spread resistance genes from animal bacteria to human pathogens."
Food Safety News, December 28, 2015
"Farmers need to dramatically cut the amount of antibiotics used in agriculture, because of the threat to human health, a report says.
Some infections are becoming almost impossible to treat, because of the excessive use of antibiotics."
BBC News December 8, 2015
"It says the department (Health Canada) should review antimicrobials regularly to determine whether their use as a veterinary treatment increases the risk of the drugs becoming ineffective in humans."
CBC News April 28, 2015
"Health Canada's quiet move to end use of antibiotics to fatten up animals -
The World Health Organization warns that unless antibiotic use is reined in, the world is headed for a dystopian future where routine infections are deadly...
But in farms, hatcheries and feedlots across Canada, food animals continue to be treated with drugs ranked as critical to human medicine...
And superbugs continue to emerge, as bacteria trade genes and evolve alarming superpower resistance to the most powerful antibiotics in the pharmaceutical arsenal:"
CBC News July 9, 2014