Headlines are buzzing about a new study, conducted by the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Arizona, which determined that half of the meat and poultry sold in supermarkets may be tainted with the staph germ.
Proper cooking kills the germ, which is estimated to be responsible for less than 3 percent of foodborne illnesses. Consumers understand there are germs in beef and poultry that are killed through proper cooking and if the article stopped there, it wouldn’t have been so detrimental so the industry.
But the damage is done through a comment made by one of the study’s authors who “believes” some strains of the staph germ found in the samples are resistant to antibiotics because “industrial” farms feed cattle a low-dose of antibiotics through their lifetime.
That statement is not true for our farm – and likely not for others. We do use antibiotics to boost our cattle’s immune systems when they are sick or have gone through a stressful situation. Just like in humans. People are notorious for taking antibiotics before riding on airplanes or when they “feel a cold coming on.” We like to cure and fend off sickness in ourselves and try to do the same in our cattle. Our animals can’t tell us when they are sick. They do, however, act sick and when we see these behaviors we do what we can to prevent our animals – and potentially the entire herd – from getting ill.
We do not have IV drips hooked to our animals. We care for them like we care for our children. We immunize them against common diseases, provide them with protection against flees and ticks and give them antibiotics when they are sick.