WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new ad campaign is asking area commuters and people visiting Capitol Hill "Who's hogging our antibiotics?"



The series of ads, revealed in D.C. Metro stations and trains this week by the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, is part of the project's national effort to end the misuse of antibiotics in food animal production. The group says up to 70 percent of human antibiotics are being fed to animals on factory farms, promoting the development of deadly strains of drug-resistant bacteria that can spread to humans.



"Human antibiotics are routinely misused on industrial farms to compensate for crowded, stressful and unsanitary conditions," said Laura Rogers, a project director with the Pew Health Group. "The way we are raising our food animals is putting human health at risk."



The ads can be seen in the Capitol South and Union Station Metro stops during June, as well as in Metro cars on the red and blue/orange line trains. A version of the ads will also be appearing soon online and in newspapers on Capitol Hill.



The Pew Campaign says the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading medical groups agree that the growth of bacterial infections resistant to antibiotic treatment is a looming public health challenge. The groups also agree the misuse of antibiotics on industrial animal farms plays a significant role in this crisis. While antibiotics are prescribed to people for short-term disease treatment, these same critically important drugs -- like tetracycline, erythromycin and ciproflaxin -- are fed in low doses to large herds or flocks daily, often for the lifespan of the animal. This creates ideal conditions for the breeding of new and dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to the groups.



SOURCE: The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming via PR Newswire.