Poultry International - November 2017 - 29
PoultryInternational ❙ 29
ers who treat humans and animals.
These health workers, with no formal training,
can sell antibiotics, with the length of treatment
depending on whether an animal or person is the patient. Treatment can be extended if more antibiotics
are available and affordable.
Risk, however, does not only come from poor
controls or misunderstanding of use. In developing
countries, people tend to live in closer proximity to
animals, raising the likelihood of the transfer of bacteria, and farm workers may have less protection.
The report also points to countries where the sick
may not have the funds to visit a qualified doctor
and so go to the "drug shop" -- convenience-type
stores without pharmacists or doctors, that sell antibiotics without prescription.
The problem of antibiotic resistance is neither
simply a developing world nor a developed world
issue, but a global problem. However, how it is addressed needs to be adapted to suit local circumstances.
For example, health care systems in some developing countries may not be equipped to deal with
patients carrying drug-resistant infections. Such
patients would simply be turned away from further
treatment and not represent a cost. In developed
economies, however, the issue has been presented
to policymakers and hospitals as a major economic
Where poultry production is concerned, in addition to legislation, more meat is marketed as being
antibiotic free, or producers are only able to receive
quality marks if they follow standards regarding antibiotic use. However, different regions of the world
are moving at very different speeds and, as in human medicine, attitudes vary enormously.
In June, statistics were published showing that
the poultry industry in one country had cut the volume of antibiotics it used in broiler production by
more than 70 percent over five years. Shortly afterwards, poultry producers in another country were
accused of breeding "super bugs" through heavy
use, and poor controls.
November 2017 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
Various educational materials are available to raise awareness
of antibacterial resistance and improve their use. Courtesy WHO
A study in this latter country found that "antimicrobial use for growth promotion promoted the
development of highly resistant bacteria on the studied farms with potentially serious implications for
One of the report's authors noted that easy access to antibiotics, inappropriate prescribing practice
and a lack of awareness were all major issues on the
farms studied. ■
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