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Home / Health / Supermarkets are under pressure for antibiotics in meat for superbugs in pork

Supermarkets are under pressure for antibiotics in meat for superbugs in pork



Supermarkets are being asked to uncover the amount of antibiotics in their imported pork after superbugs have been found in meat sold overseas – by companies that may also supply British stores.

Pork on the shelves of supermarkets in Brazil, Spain and Thailand It has been found to contain superbugs that are resistant to some of the important antibiotics in human medicine.

Britain imports almost two-thirds (60 percent) of its pork products – about 700,000 tons a year – and investigators believe that antibiotics are likely. Resistant superbugs have infected part of the meat sold in the UK.


British supermarkets say they have already cut antibiotics in their stores to avoid unnecessary consumption and the risk to humans is low.

But it is feared that Brexit will continue to increase its chances Pork carries superbugs that come to the UK as imports of less well-being meat rise and British farmers can lower their standards to compete with the costs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that antibiotic resistance plays a role of serious threat to human health, which can make daily surgery and life-threatening infections.

The widespread use of medicines in livestock has contributed significantly to the increase in antibiotic resistance.

Superbugs in the food chain can cause pneumonia, fever, skin and urinary tract infections, and in extreme cases, death.

According to the OECD, three quarters of the world's antibiotics are used in factory farming, most of them for pigs.

World Animal Protection experts tested pork sold in Australia, Brazil, Spain and Thailand and found in three of the infected countries.

Spain's large pork export industry is booming thanks to rising demand from China, which has led to a massive increase in pigs in pig farming, where animal welfare is often a low priority.

Antibiotics are routinely used to ward off infections in animals held together in factories to "prop up" cruel systems and contribute to the Superbug crisis, critics say.

The charity urges British supermarkets to make the testing results more transparent to antibiotics in their supply chains.

Only Asda, the Co-op, Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer reveal the amount of antibiotics used in their meat products, and WAP wants the other stores to follow suit.

Pigs in a crowded shed the EU (World Animal Protection)

"The results shockingly show how the excessive use of antibiotics in factory farming has become a" Band Aid "solution to prevent cramped and stressed animals from becoming ill and contributes to the super war crisis," he said Speaker.

"British supermarkets must ensure high standards of animal welfare regardless of where pigs are bred, and they should regularly publish data on the use of antibiotics in their supply chains to show that they meet the goals of reducing the use of antibiotics."

He said that progress had been made in reducing antibiotics in UK agriculture, but the test results provided a snapshot of practices in different parts of the world.

On conditions in farms around the world that are regular The administration of antibiotics includes piglets taken from their mother at a very young age, tails are cut and teeth are cut, male piglets neutered, and dirty stalls with floors covered with animal waste.

Jacqueline Mills of WAP said, "There is a better one Higher welfare systems make it possible to use antibiotics responsibly, as demonstrated in Sweden.

"We need an end to tight captivity and barren environments so that pigs in social groups can live in comfortable environments to express ways of natural behavior.

"Supermarkets should raise the bar much further to ensure that animals in their supply chains are less stressed and that antibiotics are used responsibly in agriculture."

Helen Browning, Soil Association Chief Executive, said: "One high levels of antibiotic use in pig farming are symptomatic of intensive husbandry systems that not only cause animal suffering but also endanger human health by contributing to antibiotic resistance. "

Sainsbury & # 39; s said it was no longer crucial Importance of antibiotics as a first-choice drug in the pork and poultry industry, adding: "It is difficult to gather robust and representative records for all species due to the different structures and challenges of each sector. We work continuously with our suppliers to improve the quality and quantity of data available.

A spokesman for the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said, "The procurement of non-UK products always complies with legal requirements. Many have chosen to meet additional best practice standards.

"The risk assessments by the UK and the EU regarding the transmission of antimicrobially resistant bacteria by food indicate that the risk to human health remains low.

"Retailers are working closely with their farmers and suppliers to ensure that antibiotics are used responsibly in their supply chain. This means a fair balance between animal welfare and only if they need medicines as part of good animal husbandry. "


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Lidl UK said its animal welfare policy prohibits the routine use of antibiotics, and its suppliers would need to monitor its use by adhering to the Red Tractor system's antibiotic use standards. A spokesperson said, "We are determined to achieve the sector's goals and fully support the disclosure of the use of antibiotics.

" However, we believe it is important to support suppliers by developing a centralized, industry-wide approach. We work closely with RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance) and industry groups including NFU, BRC, National Pig Association and Compassion in World Farming.

Aldi referred to the BRC statement that Tesco and Morrisons did not respond to requests for comment.


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