At Home in Nature

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Can't use antibiotics anymore?

On April 12, the New York Times reporter Gardiner Harris reported that “Farmers and ranchers will for the first time need a prescription from a veterinarian before using antibiotics in farm animals, in hopes that more judicious use of the drugs will reduce the tens of thousands of human deaths that result each year from the drugs' overuse.” According to Harris, “the Food and Drug Administration announced the new rule Wednesday after trying for more than 35 years to stop farmers and ranchers from feeding antibiotics to cattle, pigs, chickens and other animals simply to help the animals grow larger.

Using small amounts of antibiotics over long periods of time leads to the growth of bacteria that are resistant to the drugs' effects, endangering humans who become infected but cannot be treated with routine antibiotic therapy.” The reason behind the new regulation is that some 2 million Americans and nearly 99,000 Americans die every year from hospital-acquired infections, the majority of which result from such resistant strains. It is unknown how many of these illnesses and deaths result from agricultural uses of antibiotics, but about 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States are used in animals. About 80 percent of antibiotics used on farms are given through feed, and an additional 17 percent are given in water. Just 3 percent are given by injection.

According to Harris, Dr. Christine Hoang of the American Veterinary Medical Association said that her organization supported the new rules, although she said that some remote or small farmers might have trouble abiding by the rules since there are fewer than 10,000 large-animal veterinarians in the United States.

Can’t afford an antibiotic prescription? Try herbs!

If you are a small farmer, you likely won’t be able to afford the prescription to provide antibiotics to your animals. So, try herbal remedies instead. Herbs are natural and organic, and also are cheaper than most antibiotics.

And, if you have animals, you likely have quantities of manure that will help your herb garden grow beautifully. Can’t grow a garden? Don’t want to buy expensive herbs? Here’s some herbal remedies you might try that use common household cooking spices or common landscaping, as well as from nature:

To prevent feed from spoiling (antifungals) Black pepper, cinnamon, juic, garden sage. FROM NATURE: Juniper berries, wild sage

For wounded animals: Oregano, thyme, rosemary, garden sage. FROM NATURE: Juniper berries, wild sage To promote growth:

Try high energy or high protein feeds. Beans and grains have worked for a long time. Want something cheaper? Try acorns, pine nuts, crabapples, or other wild fruits and nuts.

For a complete list, visit www.themeadowlarkherald.com, and read the book, At Home in Nature

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