Antibiotic abuse in livestock

vet

 

Antibiotics are increasingly used in farming systems in Kenya as famers give them to animals and chicken to prevent them from getting sick.

The law requires that the drugs are only given to the farmer after prescription from a registered veterinary surgeon but they end up in famers hands from shops that sell them to farmers illegally.

Dr Tuimur blamed this on the veterinarians.

“The fate of microbial resistance is as much in your hands as animal owners, as it is in the hands of the professionals who serve you, and the people who supply antibiotics to you illegally,” said the Livestock PS in his speech.

Prof Kariuki said veterinarians also fall prey to the pressure from farmers who demand that they are given antibiotics.

He said: “The farmer tells the vet that the last time the animals showed those signs they were given a certain drug and they got well and so they demand for that particular drug.”

Dr Indraph Ragwa, from KVB said prescriptions for anti-biotics are usually accompanied with directions on how to use them.

“Using antibiotics on animals comes with instructions such as not to take milk or meat from that animal for a certain period of time, and only a qualified person would know that,” he said.

However, Dr Ragwa said, science has not directly linked cancer to the consumption of meat and milk from animals that have been exposed to antibiotics.

Dr Ragwa added that farmers lose their animals in the hands of quacks, especially when performing complex procedures such as Caesarian section on cows.

“They want money, and when the animal dies, the famer loses a livelihood as well as the money,” he said.

Livestock play a huge role in food security and thus more exposure to people.

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