CBS News Report: Denmark’s Case for Antibiotic-Free Animals

(CBS News), 2/10/10

They call it the “Danish Experiment” – a source of pride for the country’s 17,000 farmers. CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric reports how unlike industrial farms in the U.S., which use antibiotics to promote growth and prevent disease, farmers in Denmark use antibiotics sparingly, only when animals are sick.

The experiment to stop widespread use of antibiotics was launched 12 years ago, when European studies showed a link between animals who were consuming antibiotic feed everyday and people developing antibiotic resistant infections from handling or eating that meat.

“We don’t want to use more medicine than needed, and a lot of the medicine that is given is not needed,” said Soren Helmer. Helmer is a second-generation pig farmer whose sows produce more than 30,000 pigs a year. When the ban started, he and his father thought the industry would suffer.

“We thought we could not produce pigs as efficient as we did before,” Helmer said. “But that was proven wrong.”

Since the ban, the Danish pork industry has grown by 43 percent – making it one of the top exporters of pork in the world. All of Europe followed suit in 2006. But the American Pork Industry doesn’t want to.”

To read or view the full story, go to: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/10/eveningnews/main6195054.shtml

To read Pork Magazine’s rebuttal, go to: http://www.porkmag.com/directories.asp?pgID=675&ed_id=8861

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