Athens takes a position on antibiotic use in livestock

At a Dec. 1 Athens City Council meeting, Athens became the latest in a string of nearly 50 cities across the country to call on Congress to address the use of antibiotics on farms. At the urging of Food & Water Watch, Athens has unanimously passed a resolution in support of national legislation to prohibit the use of antibiotics for animals that are not sick — HR 1150, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) and S 1256, the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act (PARA).

“The decrease in effectiveness of life-saving antibiotics is a public health crisis, and Congress must act now in the absence of meaningful action from the Food and Drug Administration,” said Alison Auciello, Ohio organizer for Food & Water Watch.

Food & Water Watch considers the Food and Drug Administration’s voluntary guidance for the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics to be insufficient.

“Athens is a community that prides itself on its strong local food economy and has many farmers, a vibrant farmers’ market and local organizations contributing toward our local and regional food security and sustainable food systems,” said Council member Jennifer Cochran. “Therefore, we strongly support this effort to limit non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in livestock production and we join with other cities and municipalities in supporting a statewide and national ban on non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics for livestock production.”

Cities that have passed resolutions regarding farm antibiotic use include New Brunswick, New Jersey; Providence, Rhode Island; Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; Madison, Wisconsin; St. Paul, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; and Alexandria, Virginia.

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