Antibiotic-Resistant Genes in the Environment

Antibiotic-resistant genes are making their way into our waterways and food systems, which could result in serious health consequences. » Subscribe to NowThis Earth: https://go.nowth.is/Earth_Subscribe » Sign up for our newsletter KnowThis to get the biggest stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox: https://go.nowth.is/KnowThis According to research from World Animal Protection (WAP), the way farms raise animals has an effect on our environment and our health. WAP tested samples of water and soil in an area of North Carolina with a high concentration of factory farms. All of the samples collected tested positive for at least one antibiotic-resistant gene. 92% of samples had three or more antibiotic-resistant genes. This can pose grave consequences for human health. #Antibiotics #FactoryFarm #Earth #Environment #Science #NowThis This video "Antibiotic-Resistant Genes in the Environment", first appeared on https://nowthisnews.com/.

Video Transcript

CAMERON HARSH: 45 water samples and 45 soil samples, every single one had a positive result for at least one antibiotic resistance gene. And in many samples, we found three or more antibiotic resistance genes.

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What that essentially means is that if that bacteria were to make you sick or give you an infection, and you went to the doctor, that infection is likely not going to respond to the first line of antibiotics that the doctor would prescribe.

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We looked for antibiotic resistance genes in the environment because we know that antibiotics are routinely used and overused in intensive factory farms to prop up low-welfare conditions. Some bacteria may have a natural resistance to certain antibiotics. And they are also able to evolve genetic mutations that provide resistance to antibiotics over time.

What the issue here is is that when antibiotics are overused in mass quantities whether in animals or in human health, the bacteria that do have resistance to antibiotics survive, whereas all of the other bacteria that are susceptible are killed or inhibited. So the resistant bacteria survive and get to reproduce and multiply.

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We at World Animal Protection also tested retail pork products a few years ago and found antibiotic-resistant bacteria on many samples of pork on retail shelves in the US and several other countries.

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Later weaning ages for animals-- it's true for pigs. It's true for cows. Keeping young animals with their mothers for longer helps them build those immune systems and some of the stronger, more robust, healthy traits that help them maintain health later in life and reduce reliance on antibiotics.

Reducing crowding, adding enrichments like straw for pigs, perches and nest boxes for chickens, can go a long way to just improve the well-being of animals and reduce the likelihood that they're going to contract and spread a disease among this highly crowded environment. Really, breeding animals for healthy immune systems.

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