No con­trol over an­tibi­otic in live­stock

More than half of farm­ers treat an­i­mals with­out pre­scrip­tions, sur­vey finds

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By LOH FOON FONG foon­[email protected]­

SERDANG: More than half of the farm­ers in a sur­vey in Se­lan­gor used an­tibi­otics on their live­stock with­out pre­scrip­tion.

Two-thirds ac­tu­ally stored these an­tibi­otics in their farms.

The sur­vey – Knowl­edge, at­ti­tude and per­cep­tion re­gard­ing an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance and us­age among ru­mi­nant farm­ers in Se­lan­gor, Malaysia – is the first study of its kind on an­timi­cro­bial (an­tibi­otics) us­age (AMU) among live­stock farm­ers in Malaysia.

It re­vealed that out of the 84 farm­ers sur­veyed in Se­lan­gor, less than half – 46% or 39 re­spon­dents – ob­tained vet­eri­nar­ian pre­scrip­tion prior to an­tibi­otic use.

Shock­ingly, 64% or 54 farm­ers had ac­tu­ally stored an­tibi­otics in their farms, said the sur­vey pub­lished in the Pre­ven­tive Ve­teri­nary Medicine 156 (2018) 76-83 on Aug 1.

In Malaysia, vet­eri­nar­ian pre­scrip­tion is needed be­fore an­tibi­otics li­censed by Ve­teri­nary Ser­vices Depart­ment are ob­tained by farm­ers.

The lack of con­trol over the use of an­tibi­otics in live­stock posed a con­cern be­cause most of those used in an­i­mals are also used in hu­mans and could lead to an­tibi­otic or an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance (AMR), re­sult­ing in the emer­gence of su­per­bugs.

The sur­vey, car­ried out be­tween May and De­cem­ber last year, showed that an­tibi­otics were eas­ily ob­tained, with 20% or 17 farm­ers get­ting these from an­i­mal prod­uct sup­pli­ers or phar­ma­cies and an­other 27% or 23 farm­ers from pre­vi­ous unfinished stock.

“Mal­prac­tices such as in­ap­pro­pri­ate an­tibi­otics use and wrong doses could be pre­cip­i­tated,” it said.

Al­most 40% dis­agreed with the prac­tice of non-stor­ing of an­tibi­otics as a mea­sure to ad­dress AMR, claim­ing that a de­lay in ve­teri­nary ser­vices would lead to eco­nomic loss.

The sur­vey also found that the knowl­edge level of farm­ers was gen­er­ally low, with 71% or 60 of the re­spon­dents say­ing all sick an­i­mals needed to be given an­tibi­otics while 88% or 74 re­spon­dents in­di­cated they would fol­low the in­struc­tions on pack­aged drugs.

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