Antibiotics in Livestock : 10 Approaches You need to Know | UPSC
The dictum for using antibiotics in livestock
WHY IN NEWS:
It is AMR Week 2020 ! As we observe World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020, all of us should strive towards responsible use of antibiotics in all sectors according to the slogan given by World Health Organization: Antimicrobials: Handle with care.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Antibiotics
For PRELIMS note down the diseases and the treatment .
For MAINS go through the approach carefully . Such points can help you fetch better marks in mains . Let us dive in !
ANTIBIOTICS AND ANIMALS
Antibiotics in Livestock : 10 Approaches You need to Know | UPSC
- The development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in microorganisms of veterinary importance not only has a significant impact on animal health.
- It also has an public health due to the increased consumption of foods of animal origin in developing countries.
- Therefore, mitigation strategies for containment of AMR in the animal sector assumes paramount importance.
- Sub therapeutic concentrations of antibiotics as growth promoters (AGP) were widely used in animal feed.
- Especially in countries where beef cattle and swine farms were maintained on commercially intensive farming lines.
- This was done without realising the potential impact of AGP use in feed on the development of AMR in microorganisms.
LIVESTOCK AND INTENSIVE FARMING
- In India, as cattle and buffaloes are maintained primarily for dairying and intensive swine farming is also not common, the issue of AGP in feeds didn’t arise much.
- Sheep and goats are maintained by shepherds with grazing practices in the open fields.
- However, research findings about the detection of genes conferring AMR in certain bacterial species isolated from chickens raised concern about food safety.
- Like other sectors, attention should be paid to misuse of antibiotics in the veterinary sector.
- A qualified veterinarian always prescribes specific antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection.
INTENSIVE POULTRY FARMING
- The possibility of development of AMR in microbes due to antibiotic residues in animal foods is being widely investigated and debated.
- Therefore, emphasis should be laid on the responsible use of antibiotics.
- Intensive farming practices in poultry helped India to not only increase the production of eggs and meat but also provided much needed animal protein.
- Certain poultry farmers who use such feed are even not aware about what they are using.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
- Livestock and poultry farmers must be trained in economical ‘biosecurity’ practices to be implemented in their farms.
- These will minimise the incidence of common microbial infections.
- This will also automatically reduce the need of antibiotics in the animal sector.
- Many of these natural additives have evidence-based antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties.
- It is highly rare for microbes to develop resistance against natural products.
- Also the immune system of animals is boosted and keeps them immunocompetent.
- Time-bound vaccination practices are crucial to prevent infectious diseases in livestock and poultry.
- A road map for reducing the need of antibiotics for animal use should be prepared by involving all stakeholders.
- Antibiotics are indispensable tools to fight microbial infections and diseases in human and veterinary medicine.
- It is inevitable for veterinarians to prescribe antibiotics to protect animal health and to alleviate animals’ pain and suffering.
- Total avoidance of antibiotics including certain critically important ones for therapeutic use in animal sector is practically not plausible.
- That is because many small and marginal farmers depend on livestock and poultry farming for their livelihoods.
A COMPLEX PHENOMENON
- AMR can’t be addressed just by focussing on antibiotics use / misuse in food animals.
- Certain research reports indicate no perceptible change in the AMR pattern in bacteria even if certain classes of antibiotics were withdrawn for veterinary use.
- Untreated / improperly treated effluents from certain pharma industries and discharges of hospital wastes directly into drainage causes antibiotics residues to enter the environment.
- There is every chance that these effluents and discharges contaminate drinking water resources like tanks and ponds.
ONE HEALTH APPROACH
- The ‘One Health’ approach is the best way to address AMR since resistance against antimicrobials is operated among human, animal and environmental sectors.
- Lack of authentic information on AMR and antimicrobial use (AMU) in the veterinary sector is a major limitation.
- Extrapolation of data on AMR from different splinter research groups may not present a correct picture on the resistance pattern of microbes to antibiotics.
- This will provide pan-India AMR data in the coming years.
INDIA : GLOBAL DRUG RESISTANCE
- Creating awareness among the public about the AMR threat on the lines of the novel coronavirus disease awareness campaign will be highly useful.
- This is due to a combination of factors that is being described as a ‘perfect storm’ and has led to the spread of superbugs.
- One major concern is that the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed has led to their continuous exposure to gut microbiota.
- In animal husbandry, poultry is the most rapidly growing sector.
- Income from rearing poultry is set to triple by 2020.
- To fulfil the demand for eggs and meat from poultry, farmers are being forced to use antibiotics as growth promoters.
- This is because a majority of deadly diseases affecting poultry are either of viral or bacterial origin.
- They also include bacterial diseases like salmonellosis, collibacillosis, campylobacteriosis, Mycoplasmosis, etc.
- Good quality vaccines are available against almost all viral diseases.
- The vice versa is true about bacterial diseases.
- This leads to the use of antibiotics to prevent these bacterial infections to avoid any mortality or morbidity.
- So how do we address the misuse of antibiotics in tackling bacterial disease among livestock in India.
- Creating awareness among farmers and end users about drug residue and its after-effects
- Restriction on the unregulated sale of antibiotics for use in animals
- A complete ban on the use of those antibiotics that are classified by the World Health Organization as being “critically important to human medicines”
- Development of disease diagnosis facilities accessible to farmers at nominal costs, for recommendation of drugs of choice
- Trainings and awareness campaigns to educate farmers on good managemental practices.
- Availability and guidelines for the proper disposal of waste.
- Strict regulations need to be imposed to avoid drainage of untreated waste into rivers and water bodies
- Legislation for the implementation of good sanitary practices in and around animal and poultry farms and other related units
- Continuous monitoring of drug resistance bacterial pathogens like coli, Staphylococcus spp, Pseudomonas spp and Klebsiella spp in particular.
- A national level antimicrobial monitoring plan in collaboration with all stakeholders.
SOURCES: DownToEarth | Antibiotics in Livestock : 10 Approaches You need to Know | UPSC