Environment Council of Rhode Island

...building an ecologically healthy future in a sustainable economy

Ban Routine Use of Antibiotics in Animal Feed

Pub Date: 
Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Whereas the growing incidence of antibiotic-resistant disease is a serious problem in human medicine, particularly for children, seniors, people undergoing surgery, and those whose immune systems have been affected as a result of cancer, transplants, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or other conditions; and
Whereas mounting scientific evidence also points to the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture as an important contributor to the problem; and
Whereas an estimated 70% of antibiotics and related drugs used in this country are fed to farm animals for non-therapeutic purposes, i.e., to promote slightly faster growth and to prevent diseases that would otherwise result from raising animals under stressful, overcrowded, and unsanitary conditions; and
Whereas nearly 50% of these antibiotics are identical or closely related to important human medicines; and
Whereas nearly two trillion pounds of waste from animal agriculture is laced with antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, contaminating soils and waterways;
Now therefore be it resolved that the Environment Council of Rhode Island:

  • calls on the Rhode Island Congressional delegation to support S1460 and HR2932, which call for the phasing out of the routine use of antibiotics in livestock feed; and
  • will join the Environmental Defense Fund generated list of 300 co-sponsoring organizations calling for the ban.