Whoa! Better switch to de-caf Econ or at least cut back on the sugar. I just posted that as an FYI and maybe start a new discussion on whether current practices encourage drug resistance.
I've noticed as all ranchers have been better about giving all of the shots that the feeders want, that the feeders are still fighting sick calves, when they come into the lot. We never let anything get sick anymore. We give shots to head off any and all types of sickness, we can.
I'm not saying that this is wrong. We are just trying to ensure we have more and healthier cattle to sell. My question is this, are we breeding up sick cattle by using vaccines to save them all?
It used to be that cattle that got sick died or were affected by the sickness enough that at least they were removed from the herd. This doesn't seem to happen as much now.
Do you all understand what I'm getting at?
It's kind'a like preg testing. you'd think after so many years that the amount of opens would go down, but it doesn't seem to have happened.
Maybe we all need to cull more, instead of just cussing the purebred guys who don't cut enough bulls?
I'm not picking a fight here, just looking for others views on this subject.[/quote]
Jinglebob, don't worry. I am not out here to fight just for the fun of it, but I do have it in me if need be.
I am not a medical professional, flounder comes a lot closer to that than I on this board, but I do have a few views on this subject based on what I do know (or think I know).
You talked about two different things here in this post and I think they should be separated.
It is my understanding that vaccines do not breed resistance. They actually help the animal build imunological responses to recognize enemies of the body and fight them before they cause death. In essence, vaccines are like warning signs for the body to get its own imune response ready for the battle in the individual animal.
Antibiotics are a little different beast, however. Most antibodies, starting with Pastuer's penicillen(which incidentally has close connections to dairy) are poisons or toxins to bacteria we want to control that are often derived from other bacteria that fight each other on the micro level. Drug companies have learned to either grow these bacteria or similate the toxins they produce.
The problem with antibiotics is that we have a certain amount of of these drugs that we are able to employ in animals, including ourselves, to fight disease caused by bacteria that have invaded the body. The supply is limited. When we use antibiotics as a preventative to disease instead of using better management practices to control disease, the "bad" bacteria have more chances to mutate and make up defenses to the antibodies we are using. This produces antibiotic resistant bacteria.
The class of drugs used in poultry, the flouroquinalones like baitril, are same drugs we use in humans--namely cipro and their relatives in this drug class. Cipro was the drug used when we had the postal scare here in the U.S. with anthrax(?). In other words, by giving these drugs as a preventative measure, we are growing these "super bugs". Johns Hopkins has done some tests that show in the intensive poultry management that Tyson and the other poultry companies employ, these superbugs (just drug resistant bacteria) have developed a resistance to the cipro drug class. This resistance in the poultry barns by the disease causing bacteria lasts long after the drug use has stopped.
There was even a little girl in North Carolina who was running around in a field where chicken litter was spread and got cut on her leg. She got one of these superbacteria. Since there was not a whole lot of drugs to treat her, they had to cut the infection out of her leg. She lost much of her leg.
The post that I made about the lady who was fighting Sanderson Farms in court and both her and her husband got sick after opening court documents got one of these superbugs. Her husband was in Texas and she was in Tn visiting her daughter. Both of them got sick after reviewing the mailed court documents. Her husband had just had a biopsy and got so sick that he spent over a week in the hospital. He was lucky that a specialist was called in and recognized the illness as a drug resistant bacteria and started intensive treatment. Even after his hospital stay was over, he had to have antibiotics intraveously. He almost died from it.
By giving high level antibiotics to our animals instead of spending the money to deal with this problem from a phisical management perspective, we are growing these superbacteria. Farmers and people in contact with the manure and animals like the people at the processing plants are the first in line of any drug resistant bacteria. The Johns Hopkins study, which is being fought by Bayer and the poultry companies, shows that these drug resistant bacteria are being found on poultry when it gets into the consumers hands. Sure, you can cook poultry and get rid of the bacteria, but if you have a cut on your hand while working with the raw meat, or if you do not cook the poultry well enough (such is the case a lot of times when cooking on the grill) then consumers will be exposed. Not everyone will get sick from this exposure, but it does increase the risk of serious illness.
I recently took a tour of a poultry facility. It was a Tyson plant. After the scalding and feather picking, the birds are chilled in water. The birds are not chilled individually, they all get chilled in the same water. That means that any bacteria from any of the birds can get on all of the birds being processed. It was interesting to me that just a few years ago Tyson had this line operation where you could see what was going on. Now they have the chilling process hidden behind stainless steel where you don't see it when you are touring the plant. I just happened to know what was happening on that part of the line and asked the plant supervisor about it. They are trying to hide that processing process.
When these cattle packers and processors have so much political clout that they can influence what the USDA or other government agencies do for safety, we are all at a little more risk. This is the same with the BSE protocals and protections.
Too much agribusiness money is influencing the process that puts us all at risk. They are influencing the decisions that make our food safe all for money. They can be more "efficient" and low cost if they can put the costs of poultry litter on the farmer, even though they are polluting it with arsenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria. This is all to make poultry cheaper. Cheaper poultry means that it gains market share over beef.
Vaccines, I believe, are not a problem. The overuse of antibiotics is a problem. Just because it costs a little to sort out sick animals and treat them individually doesn't mean that it is better for us all. When one company gets away with this kind of treatment, they all have to do it to stay "competitive".
In the Hudson food recall, there were allegations that Tyson's influence in the USDA were making the recall larger and higher costing. The allegation was that it made Hudson dirt cheap and Tyson bought another competitor on the cheap. The same thing happened with your BSE deal in Canada. Tyson and Cargill were still selling the product at a high price while picking the pockets of the producers. They got a taxpayer subsidy to boot. How is rkaiser or robert mack or any of the other "little" guys going to compete with that type of playing field? Look at Creekstone. They were on track to produce a tested product and sell it to Japan. The packer backers on this board tout the "victory" that they were not able to do this. Our government policies or just enforcement of them are helping to consolidate the meat industry. That is a fact.