The routine use of antibiotics in agriculture puts us at risk of antibiotic-resistant infections — but Maryland’s new law to reduce their use shows promising results.
Since the passage of the Maryland PIRG-backed Keep Antibiotics Effective Act, non-therapeutic antibiotics use is down in livestock and poultry farming, from nearly 100 percent use on chickens to less than 2 percent statewide. Maryland PIRG hosted a webinar on June 18 to break down the results of the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s first annual report, thank co-sponsors state Sen. Paul G. Pinsky and state Del. Sara N. Love, and discuss ways to reduce medically unnecessary antibiotic use even further.
“Maryland’s bill is the strongest in the country, and this report shows that drastic reductions in antibiotic use for animals is possible,” said Maryland PIRG State Director Emily Scarr. “We hope that other states will use Maryland as a blueprint to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use and save medically necessary antibiotics for people who need them, not livestock who don’t.”
Tell your federal lawmakers to act now to save our antibiotics
Maryland has set the standard for state-level action to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Next up: winning change on the national level. Will you tell Congress to set strong duration limits for the use of any medically important antibiotics in animal agriculture?
Content Creator, Editorial & Creative Team, The Public Interest Network
Aaron writes and designs materials with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network for U.S. PIRG. Aaron lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, and spends his spare time playing drums and going for long walks.