Reports and briefings on antibiotics

Published by the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics

Published by the Soil Association

  • E.Coli Superbugs on farms and foods [PDF, 1 MB]
    This report reveals the extent of Britain’s E. coli epidemic, estimating that 750,000–1,500,000 people in the UK contracted an E. coli infection in 2011, resulting in nearly 40,000 cases of blood poisoning and nearly 8,000 deaths.
  • MRSA in British cattle. A new farm superbug spreading to humans?, 2011, [PDF, 106 KB]
    Following a study published on the discovery of MRSA in British milk, the Soil Association is calling for the end of routine antibiotic use in dairy farming. A new type of MRSA bacteria was discovered by scientists from Cambridge University in samples of milk taken from cows with mastitis. This is the first time that MRSA has been found in farm animals in the UK.
  • MRSA in farm animals and meat, 2007, [PDF, 1.5 MB]
    This report focuses on a major new antibiotic-resistance problem in farming, which may have serious consequences for human health. In some countries MRSA has been found in a large number of farm animals and in retail meat.
  • Too hard to crack - eggs with drug residues, 2004 [PDF, 740 KB]
    This report highlights to problem of dangerous drug residues found in millions of eggs. Too Hard to Crack is the fourth in the 'use and misuse of antibiotics' series.
  • Batteries not included - organic farming and animal welfare 2003 [PDF, 1.6 MB]
    Batteries not included looks at the major animal welfare benefits provided by organic farms, and the opportunities to further improve welfare for organic farm animals.
  • Too hard to swallow - the truth about drugs and poultry, 2001 [PDF, 391 KB]
    Uncovering how government regulators have seriously misled the public about the high incidence of dangerous drug residues found in chicken and eggs. 
  • The use and misuse of antibiotics in UK agriculture - resistance and human health, 1999 [PDF, 625 KB]
    Examining the extent to which the use of antibiotics in agriculture contributes to the development of resistant strains of bacteria which may compromise human health.

Press releases

Support our campaigns

You can support our crucial work on antibiotics by becoming a member of the Soil Association or by making a donation.



Our campaign

Antibiotic resistance in farm animals is a growing problem, with far-reaching implications for human health. The Soil Association has been working on this issue for many years:

  • 1985: First organic standards restricting the use of antibiotics
  • 1995–2005: Campaign, including two reports, lobbying and press releases, leading to the banning of all antibiotic growth promoters thoughout the EU 2001–2004: Published reports exposing high residue levels of toxic drugs in chicken and eggs. Two of three drugs highlighted now banned by EU, a third under voluntary restriction by UK egg producers
  • 2003: Exposed the illegal use of the antibiotic avilamycin in broiler-chicken production
  • 2004: Exposed the pig industry's continuing use of antibiotics for growth promotion
  • 2006: Exposed the farm-antibiotic link to ESBL E.coli
  • 2007: Published a report on MRSA in farm animals and meat
  • 2011: Joined with Compassion in World Farming and Sustain to form the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics
  • 2012: Called for a ban of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in poultry production

You can support this crucial work on antibiotics by becoming a member of the Soil Association or by making a donation.