Due to crowding and highly stressful conditions for the livestock, dairy farmers use antibiotics. It is estimated that 80-90 percent of the antibiotics that they use are not digested and eventually are passed off into the ecosystem. They then interact with the bacteria in the environment and have the potential to create more resistant strains, leading to problems for both humans and animals.
Compared to other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), dairy farms actually tend to administer fewer antibiotics per animal weight unit, but only because they have to comply with the grade “A” pasteurized milk ordinance. However in general for CAFOs, 13% of the antibiotics are administered to promote growth and efficiency. As the above answer already mentions, this can have serious environmental ramifications.
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