Is not using antibiotics cruel?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by chickened, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    After reading a statement in an animal husbandry book I got to thinking about the use of antibiotics with animals animals in traditional animal practices and in organic practices and never really thought about the issue of whether it is cruel to not use antibiotics. Opinions wanted on this.
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Why are they saying its cruel? What reasons are they giving?
  3. eggbuster

    eggbuster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2010
    They are referring to the use of anti-biotics in factory farming. In this case, the anti-biotics are being fed on a daily basis as a preventative. They need to do this because of the conditions the birds/animals are being kept in; overcrowding it is the conditons, not the anti-biotics that are the issue. Be careful of propaganda being used to tar the opposition. They tend to spout part truths to make it sound good. Your radar is in good working order as you have questioned the validity of the argument. Trust your judgement on this one.

    Anti-biotics used to treat a real illness that has occured, are not cruel. It would be cruel to not treat the patient and let them suffer. Even organic farmers use medications when necessary and sell the animal as a conventionally raised animal instead of organic.
  4. RunningRabbit

    RunningRabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2012
    Indeed. Why would it be considered cruel? I do know that animals raised in more humane or organic methods do not require the same use of hormones and antibiotics, since they are generally kept in cleaner pens, fed healthier foods and given room to roam and thrive. Now in a more industrial feed-lot style livestock raising, then yes, antibiotics are necessary as that particular method has high rates of sickness transfer. In that scenario, I could see how not using antibiotics could be considered cruel, since the risk of disease or illness transfer is so much higher.

    But other than that? I certainly don't think for a second that animals raised in clean, healthy and organic/humane methods do not need a continuous stream of antibiotics, Their diet, healthy lifestyle and all the other wonderful benefits of being raised humanely/organically can usually combat any immunity upset without medical interference.

    My Gramps used to raise pigs organically, and they handled any upsets beautifully. He did take them to the vet if he was concerned with anything, but they never required antibiotics, and if there was something wrong, under the guidance of a vet, he would treat them naturally. Never once lost a pig by doing it like that.

    But that's just my two cents on the subject.
  5. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    I guess I should have stated the argument, is treating an animal with antibiotics where they recover quickly as humane as allowing a longer more natural treatment to work where the animal undoubtedly would suffer longer but yet still maintain an organic status. i have never treated any animal with organic approved methods so I really do not know but I do know that in order to maintain the organic status that the sick animal must be removed from the farm and can never return.

    Bacteria and other harmful agents of disease that are transmitted by air or wild animals has nothing to do with how sanitary or freerange your animals are as any otherwise healthy animal can succumb to disease especially if the animal has never encountered that disease or is too clean.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  6. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2009
    If an animal in your care is sick with a bacterial illness that can be cured with antibiotic treatment, yes it is cruel to withhold treatment. Not to mention putting the other animals at risk. Giving antibiotics on a continuous basis is not necessary. BTW, antibiotics in the feed are not so much to prevent infection as they are to enhance growth. Last I heard on the subject is that while low levels of antibiotics enhance growth, it is not known how and why they do so.

    It has been some years since I read the guidelines for certified organic, but if memory serves, treating a sick animal with antibiotics is allowed, but an extended withdrawal period is necessary.

    After I read the requirements for being certified organic, I decided that certification was far more trouble than it was worth.
    1 person likes this.

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