Professor Klaus Buchner, MEP (ÖDP), against mass livestock farming

Mass livestock farming
Appalling cruelty to animals and a disaster for humanity!
As a result of its lavish use of antibiotics, mass livestock farming has produced a constantly and rapidly growing number of multi-drug-resistant killer bacteria.
Mass livestock farming is a major breeding ground for ‘hospital microbes’ (MRSA – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)!
Genes are increasingly being exchanged between MRSA variants which affect human beings and animals. Multi-drug-resistant animal microbes are transferred to human beings, and vice versa, to a worrying degree.
Increasingly, the functioning of our antibiotics is being destroyed!
If this ‘silver bullet’ for medicine ceases to work, the outcome will be apocalyptic.

Antibiotic resistance
When antibiotics – a ‘silver bullet’ for medicine – become ineffective against bacteria, the term used is ‘antibiotic resistance’. Each year, rapidly increasing numbers of people around the world die of infections because antibiotics no longer work (on account of this growing resistance). Unless extremely swift action is taken, a study by the Berlin Charité University suggests that by 2050 more people worldwide will be dying of infection by antibiotic-resistant microbes than of cancer!

How does antibiotic resistance come about?
Repeated, widespread and wrongly indicated use of antibiotics, particularly in mass livestock farming (but also in human medicine), positively cultivates resistant bacteria. Subsequently, if an antibiotic is used to treat a serious infection, the resistant bacteria survive and multiply, while the non-resistant bacteria die. Resistant bacteria can also transfer their genetic information to other bacteria, so that they too become resistant. Where such multi-drug-resistance exists, no antibiotic will then work any longer, and the microbe will cause death.

What does mass-produced meat have to do with ‘hospital microbes’?
In mass livestock farming, very large quantities of antibiotics are administered to animals in order to combat infections, mostly on a preventive basis (!)
These very high doses of antibiotics are increasingly cultivating resistant microbes in animals, which then find their way into meat produced from them. In addition, through manure, resistant killer bacteria are transmitted to fields and so to fruit and vegetables, as well as into groundwater. The microbes are also transferred to people working in mass livestock farming and, through their contacts, they are then passed on to other people as well. In other words, in this way resistant microbes from mass livestock farming spread to more and more people through various pathways. As a rule, MRSA carriers, i.e. people whose bodies contain such microbes, do not display any symptoms of disease and are ‘healthy’. If, however, they pass such a microbe on to a sick, weakened, injured or post-operative patient, this will in an increasing number of cases (mainly at hospitals or other medical establishments) result in untreatable infections, leading to multiple organ failure and death. As these people are generally hospitalised, a term commonly used in this connection is ‘hospital microbes’.

Scandal in Lower Saxony
Particularly in Lower Saxony, where there is a fattening unit every one or two kilometres, the disastrous link between mass livestock farming and multi-drug-resistant microbes is reflected at nearby clinics. A corrupt nexus, reminiscent of the Mafia, between the farming lobby and politicians has been bringing this about for many years. As ever, nothing significant is being done about the problem.

MRSA infection extremely high in people who come into contact with livestock
People whose work involves contact with livestock are many times more commonly infected with resistant microbes. Even if contact is only occasional, for example in the case of people who have a family member working with livestock, or families that regularly visit farms to buy eggs, the likelihood of MRSA infection is multiplied.