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April 14, 2024

Experts urge regulation for antibiotics use on poultry, livestock

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By Funmilola Gboteku

Mr Sunday Bamgbose, Former President, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Lagos Chapter, has called for the regulation of antibiotics use on poultry and other livestock.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, Bamgbose said that its non-regulation in the poultry, food and animal industries has health implications.

He also said that lack of education of poultry farmers on the proper use of antibiotics and wide spread dependency on antibiotics were additional factors that mitigates curbing of the problem.

“Usually antibiotics should only be administered for treatment of infections, prevention of disease and growth promotion.

“Overuse of antibiotics, however contributes to the emergency of antibiotics-resistant genes in bacteria.

“For instance when humans consume the poultry products like eggs which also contains antibiotics residue, it accumulates in the body.

“This causes drug resistant strains leading to gastrointestinal disorders, toxic and allergies reactions among others which are detrimental to our health,” he said.

Bamgbose also said that on the economic side, farm products with heavy concentration of antibiotics could not be exported out of the country.

He noted that because of the antibiotics residue present in the egg produced by poultry farms, most farmers could not sell them to egg powder industries.

Similarly, Dr James Wageti, General Manager, Adamore Nigeria Ltd. and a Poultry expert, said that some of the antibiotics administered to poultry birds and other livestock were cancerous.

Wageti noted that the drugs may not have any effect on the poultry birds, but posed a risk to humans.

He explained that the overuse of antibiotics was more dominant in the poultry industries because the birds lay eggs daily so it was easy to pass the residue.

He added that for other livestock the only danger of using antibiotics was towards the period the animal would be slaughtered.

The poultry expert said that it was also important to know that most of the antibiotics used for animals were the same ones used by humans.

He said that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), by 2050 there would be almost 10 million deaths as a result of antimicrobial resistance.

“They said that out of the 10 million, 4.2 million deaths would occur in Asia and four million in Africa, while the rest is shared among other continents.

“There will not be too many deaths in those continents because they have a strict regulation on the use of antibiotics on livestock,” he said.

Wageti noted that Europe for instance, had banned the use of antibiotics in poultry farms more than 15 years ago.

He said that the problem with Africa was the long term use of antibiotics on poultry birds and non-regulation.

He therefore advocated for strict measures and regulations with a view to curtailing the overuse of antibiotics in Nigeria.

He also called for more awareness for poultry and livestock farmers on the dangers of antibiotics abuse. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)


Edited by Deborah Coker/Ismail Abdulaziz


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