Antibiotic overuse merely scratches the surface of the problems posed by factory farms today. Animals are reared in large, windowless warehouses in conditions of extremely close confinement. A broad focus on improvements in animal welfare is urgent and essential. It would result in less antibiotics being needed in the first place.
This week, The New York Times published a comprehensive investigation into deplorable animal treatment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC). It's appalling that such activities -- conducted with the goal of helping a private-sector industry turn a higher profit -- are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.