News 3613 views update:Jan 19, 2012

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in German chicken

Half of the fresh chickens bought in shops in five German cities have been contaminated by germs resistant to antibiotics, a recent survey concluded.

Bund (Friends of the Earth Germany), a German environmental group announced its findings that of 20 samples of chicken meat bought at supermarkets across the country, 12 were infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The group acquired its chicken at supermarkets in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Nuremberg and the Stuttgart region. The study found that ten samples contained E. coli that produces ESBL (Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase) enzymes, while two had MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria.

"The extent of the contamination of foodstuffs with hospital germs is a clear warning signal of the collateral damage of industrial animal farming," said Hubert Weiger, the organisation's chairman, in a statement, which calls for an end to industrial farming.

The results come as the government is preparing new laws to cut down on the use of antibiotics in livestock breeding.“The toughening of the legal regulation aims to reduce the use of antibiotics to the absolute minimum necessary for the treatment of animal diseases and increase the competence of local authorities,” said Holger Eichele the spokesman for the ministry for consumer protection.

Helmut Born, secretary general of the German Farmers' Association, dismissed this new study as fearmongering, and said that the study contained "no real new insights."

The environmental group has also acknowledged that the study was "not representative" of all chicken sold across the country, and called for further study by the German government.

Source: Euronews, Deutsche Welle

Editor WorldPoultry

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