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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Government of India, issues a notice on Irrational use of antibiotics in animal/livestock

Contributed by  Akilesh. R and Ashok J. Tamhankar 
Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO),  Government of India, issues a  notice on Irrational use of antibiotics in animal/livestock – A source of spread of antibiotic resistance in humans!
While antibiotic use and abuse in humans has been given due notice in recent times, the other potential source of spread of antibiotic resistance to humans is through animal products which has not been given due regard. Besides therapy antibiotics are used in animals particularly in poultry farming as growth promoters. The use in animals is also a precursor of antibiotic resistance; both through the animal food products as well as the faeces that go into the environment, as nearly 50 % of antibiotics given to animals are excreted within 24 hours.  While in many countries use of antibiotics is banned as growth promoters, it is not so in India. Government of India has now started to take action on this issue. Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO),  Government of India has issued notice in this regard to Drug controllers of all states and union territories in June 2014. The circular in this context generally says the following.

The antibiotics used to treat infected animals and livestock result in accumulation of the antibiotics in the products from that particular animal/livestock like eggs, meat and milk. A mandatory withdrawal period stipulated for that particular species must be followed during which no product from that animal be used for human consumption. If such products are consumed by humans, the product may contain excess antibiotic residue than the maximum permissible limits which result in unnecessary exposure of the human to the antibiotic with high risk of development of antibiotic resistance. Awareness among the farmers, manufacturers and consumers is of utmost importance.

The non therapeutic use of antibiotics in feed premix or regular feeding in poultry and animals used for meat, milk and egg production has serious consequences on human beings. The same can result in accumulation of antibiotics in humans and animals resulting in antibiotic resistance. In view of this, the manufacturers have been advised and educated not to use antibiotics for regular animal feeding.

The need of the hour is education of the farmers and other manufacturers involved in production of animal products.
The details are available at http://www.cdsco.nic.in/writereaddata/Meneka%20Sanjay%20Gandhi.pdf (Accessed on July 17. 2014)