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In a recent shocking report, a powerful anti-infection drug usually administered as a medication of last resort for the terminally ill is being mis-utilized at an industrial scale by farmers around the world. Used regularly on animals, more particularly the poultry is a pattern recently that has increasingly emerged posing danger to huge swathes of consuming population of such sourced meat. The said drug – Colistin is given to chickens and other ranch animals that are mass bred for helping them physiologically to put on weight much faster and also as a pre-emptive line of defense against various infections for protecting them by prevention.
However the case it is, the anti-toxin is typically used as a last line of antibiotic for safeguarding human patients whose diseases are not positively reacting to different medications or special antidote formulations that are within the clinically accepted medical practices for conservative treatment, mostly in cases of drug resistant pathogens. Additionally, public health experts are also very cautious about a rare & new colistin-resistant gene that could potentially leave some infections untreatable in the near future.
The report by Bureau of Investigative Journalism discovered 2,800 tons of the said drug that were delivered to developing & emerging markets including India, Vietnam, Russia, Mexico, Colombia & Bolivia for use on animals in the year 2016. The agency said the aggregate was probably going to be higher on a cumulative basis as the item could be shipped & marketed under alternate trade names, & to countries which don’t make their imports & customs information declassified for the public use or otherwise.
India, which has one of the most exceedingly wide proportions of the drug import on such reported abuse, got hundreds of tons of colistin for routine use on chickens & related farm animals for meat consumption. Not only that, according to the report, India is also expected to see the most astounding increase in the rate of the drug’s sourcing among any nation throughout the following decade, with estimates indicating as much as 4,800 tons of anti-microbials that will be used as a part of the total feeds by 2030, which is an 80% steep increase on current levels.
Research published in a journal called Science showed two family of broad spectrum antibiotic agents – tetracyclines & fluoroquinolones, which can treat illnesses including cholera and malaria – also happen to be the most commonly used drugs in regular animal feeds. Such indiscriminate use & abuse of antibiotics in animals is adding to an increasing risk of drug resistance, with a few bacterial & viral strains as of now having developed genetic resistance from most or majority of the known medicines.
Image Credit: Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch
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