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Rising Livestock Antibiotic Sales Cause Concern

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Sales of antibiotics for livestock have been steadily rising over the past few years, reports The Rural Blog. Antibiotic sales increased 23 percent from 2009 to 2014, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Last year, they rose another three percent. The increase in sales has raised concerns about risks to humans from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to Reuters. Public health advocates, along with some lawmakers and scientists, have criticized the long-standing practice of using antibiotics in livestock. They argue it is fueling the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

But many farmers and ranchers insist the practice is necessary to help keep cattle, pigs and chickens healthy. They say the drugs help increase meat production for U.S. consumers.