DENVER (CBS4)– One group in Colorado wants farmers and ranchers to change the way they use antibiotics in livestock. On Thursday they took their concerns to Sen. Michael Bennet.
“We need federal legislation to regulate antibiotic use on farms,” said protester Rianna Eckel with Food & Water Watch.
Demonstrators wearing cow costumers and hospital gowns marched through downtown Denver to hand-deliver a petition to Bennet’s Colorado office calling for changes to the way antibiotics are given to livestock. The group wants Bennet to co-sponsor a bill in Congress called the “Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act.”
They handed over a petition with more than 2,000 signatures collected in support of their cause.
“I’m really here today to put a face on the statistics because we can all think about 2 million people who get sick or 23,000 lives that are lost. But I want to say that I know one of those 23,000 and it’s not something I want to see any other family go through,” said protester Bob James.
James lost his brother to a superbug that antibiotics could not fight. He claims its because of the overuse of drugs that farmers and ranchers use on their livestock.
“Right now 80 percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. are used on livestock, they are given low daily doses in their feed and water. And that just isn’t the way the antibiotics are meant to be used,” said Eckel.
Protesters claim ranchers use the antibiotics to keep livestock from getting sick in cramped, filthy conditions.
“We are seeing that our antibiotics are not working when we need them to,” said Eckel.
Bennet’s office told CBS4 they are reviewing the petition and have not made a decision one way or another about co-sponsoring the act currently in Congress.