Limit Use of Non-Therapeutic Antibiotics in Food Animals

  • by: ASPCA
  • target: U.S. Congress
The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) would phase out, within two years of enactment, the common practice of feeding antibiotics to non-sick food animals.

Livestock and poultry producers misuse life-saving drugs and feed them to animals not to treat disease, but to accelerate growth and prevent the onset of diseases caused by the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions prevalent in intensive farming. An estimated 70% of antibiotics and related drugs produced in the U.S. are used in animal agriculture for non-therapeutic purposes. PAMTA will not hinder the use of antibiotics to treat sick animals.

The overuse of these drugs contributes to the rise of anti-biotic resistant infections in humans.

In addition, curtailing the use of antibiotics may be an incentive to raise animals using more sustainable and humane methods.

Tell Congress to support and cosponsor the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act.
Dear [Decision Maker],

As a concerned constituent, I am writing to urge you to support and cosponsor the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), H.R. 1549/S. 619. Scientists agree that the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture is contributing to the increase in antibiotic-resistant human diseases.

[Your personal comments will be inserted here.]

Doctors and patients are increasingly aware of the need to curb unnecessary courses of antibiotics. This is an important step in combating antibiotic resistance. At the same time, an estimated 70% of antibiotics and related drugs produced in the United States each year are routinely added to the feed and water of poultry, hogs and cattle: not to treat disease, but to promote faster growth and prevent disease outbreaks caused by the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions that go hand in hand with intensive farming.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) estimates that antibiotic-resistant bacteria cost the U.S at least $4-5 billion each year in health care costs. Another NAS study has shown that the cost to consumers of banning antibiotics in animal agriculture would amount to increased meat prices of only a few dollars per year.

Under current law, the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) process for withdrawing drugs from the market can take years or even decades, and is costly to taxpayers. However, PAMTA will give the FDA the tools it needs to withdraw approvals for the non-therapeutic uses of medically important antibiotics in animal agriculture in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

In light of the above, I respectfully urge you to support and cosponsor H.R. 1549/S. 619 today.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
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