OPPONENTS OF intensive agriculture have called for a ban on the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in poultry production.
A pressure group called 'Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics' – formed by animal welfarists Compassion in World Farming and organic watchdogs the Soil Association – has told UK agriculture minister David Heath that routine use of antibiotics in food production is increasing the risk of antibiotic-resistant bugs affecting humans.
In particular, it claimed that campylobacter was now the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, affecting over 350,000 people a year, and that chickens were the source of between 50 and 80% of these cases.
A ban on fluoroquinolone in poultry production would bring the UK into line with the US, where the Food and Drug Administration stopped its use in 2005 because of increasing resistance in campylobacter. Denmark, Finland and Australia also do not use fluoroquinolones in poultry.