Friends this is part 3 of 3 to explain the major health concerns associated to eating dogs. This last concern is called antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to these medicines. This occurs naturally however the misuse of antibiotics in animals is accelerating the process. Let me give you an example, in countries where animals are farmed like S. Korea, dogs are living in very confined and unsanitary conditions and are highly stressed. They are likely being fed insufficient amounts and poor quality food. These factors result in the increased levels of infectious diseases and therefore the farmers take it upon themselves to overuse antibiotics and vaccines in an effort to keep the meat “healthy”. This excessive use of antibiotics is leading to a rise of resistance by the body. When the meat of these antibiotic resistant animals is consumed, it is transmitted to the consumer who also then could become resistant to necessary treatment.
While the dog meat trade certainly is not the only one contributing to this increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it certainly is adding to the problem (there are few regulations and no monitoring of meat quality). Thankfully the World Health Organization is fully aware of the gravity of the problem and recently met to discuss a global action plan to address it. Like mom has been trying to explain to me, there is no possible way we can save and rescue everyone. It’s essential that we work on a root cause analysis and try to solve this at the core. If working towards ending this using the approach of preventing human illness gets the attention of those on a political and international scale, then let’s do it!