Government clueless about the misuse of Antibiotics in Poultry

Pashu Sandesh, 16 September 2019

Recently as a proud Indian, we were celebrating the success of ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 mission still, certain dark realities are directly staring in our face. The present Government could be credited for numerous groundbreaking decisions and its commitment toward the promotion of Healthy nation and practices but there are certain responses which cast doubt over implementation. This is what at least appears from a response from the MoS for Fisheries, Animal  Husbandry & Dairying  Dr Sanjeev Balyan in the recently concluded Lok Sabha session to a question on the misuse of Antibiotics in the Poultry industry. 

The Question asked in the Lok Sabha on 23 July was “Whether it is a fact that indiscriminate use of antibiotics in the Indian poultry industry is endangering the health of people consuming the poultry products?”. The response to this question by the Minister was “ There is no information with the Department on indiscriminate use of antibiotics in the Indian poultry industry and the human health hazards associated with it. However, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has issued advisories to all States and UTs for judicious use of antibiotics in the treatment of food-producing animals, but to refrain from using antibiotics in animal feed”. 

It is a known fact that the response of the Ministers on the floor of the house is based on the data and information provided by the concerned departments. The response of the Minister that his Ministry has no information on the indiscriminate use of Antibiotics in the Indian Poultry industry and the hazard it poses on the Human Health puts a direct question mark on the Scientific temperament and acumen of the persons working in the Department of Animal Husbandry. 

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics in poultry and Meat industry has put the whole humanity in the grave danger of Antimicrobial resistance. There has been the emergence of Super Bugs which are almost resistant to every known antibiotic being used in human. There are studies on the emergence of Antibiotic Resistance following the Contamination of Food Chain. 

India boasts of world level institutions such as IVRI, ICAR- National Research Centre on Meat, which could undertake the task and guide the Government with the Data of National importance. 

 On 19th July Government banned the use of Colistin Antibiotic in the Poultry industry on the same fear of contamination of Food Chain and the response of the Minister on 23 July in Lok Sabha do not even mention about it. Either the agencies are clueless or there is lack of coordination prompting such replies on the floor of the biggest stage of Democracy.