Why does agribusiness keep overusing antibiotics? Consider ‘Pig Zero.’

"Don't wait for Pig Zero," declared the poster, featuring a pig peeking through a giant blue zero, that appeared at last year's swine industry trade show.

“Don’t wait for Pig Zero,” declared the poster, featuring a pig peeking through a giant blue zero, that appeared at last year’s swine industry trade show.

A New York Times investigation reported on June 7 exposed that, despite the World Health Organization’s warning that farmers should stop using antibiotics in healthy animals, drug companies have been promoting precisely that. Elanco, the company behind the Pig Zero poster, for example, urged farmers not to wait for the first outbreak of disease to treat their pigs. Which is exactly why experts are worried that antibiotics may one day be rendered ineffective.

“We know that using antibiotics to prevent diseases in farmed animals risks breeding more antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” said our national network’s Matt Wellington. “Promoting the routine use of antibiotics is irresponsible. The bottom line is that the less we use antibiotics, the better our chances of preserving these life-saving medicines for the future.”

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