An estimated 11 to 13 million Canadians suffer from food-borne infections every year costing our health care system between $12 and $14 billion.
The crowded, unsanitary conditions that animals are kept in facilitates the spread of diseases and necessitates the use of antibiotics for disease prevention.
70% of antibiotics in the US are given to farm animals. We don't know if the percentage is as high in Canada (because it is not regulated, monitored or given any veterinary oversight), but we do know that similar to the US, more antibiotics are given to farm animals than people. The majority are given to prevent disease and promote growth.
Use of antibiotics is causing drug resistant super bugs to be found on ILOs in manure and in groundwater near fields — risking the effectiveness of life-saving medicines.
The vast numbers of animals kept on a single farm means there is too much manure concentrated in one area for the land to handle and the unnatural feed they are given has turned their manure (in the past a valuable fertilizer) into toxic waste too full of antibiotic residues, chemical concentrations and pathogens to be spread on fields.
Just in Canada, farm animals produce more than 170 million tonnes of manure annually, enough to fill the Roger's Centre (sports stadium in Toronto) more than 100 times a year.
To preserve the effectiveness of life-saving antibiotics for human and veterinary medicine, WSPA is asking the Canadian government to support the Canadian Medical Association's call to require veterinary prescriptions for all agricultural antibiotic use.