New drugs that could eventually replace or reduce the use of antibiotics in animals are in development to help slow the rise of antibiotic resistance.
Imagine a farm with over 100,000 head of cattle, each one receiving daily low-dose antibiotics in their food or water, not to treat illness, but to make them put on weight faster.
In the United States, the total amount of antibiotics used in food-producing animals rose by 16% between 2009 and 2012, to 14.61 million kilograms per year, and there is a great deal of overlap between the drugs used in animals and those used in humans. The most recent data on human use in the United States, from 2011, shows that Americans used 3.5 million kilograms of antibiotics that year. Read more in The Pharmaceutical Journal.