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Farmers Still Using Feeds with Antibiotics Additives Despite Ban

Steven Kakooza, a Public Health Specialist working with Veterinarians Without Borders (Vétérinaires Sans Frontières)-Germany says already they are in their passive surveillance seeing humans developing resistance to antibiotics that are commonly used in animals. T

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Animal and poultry feed that contain antibiotics as additives are still used in the country despite their ban, further fueling the risk of drug resistance.

Dr Rose Ademun, the Commissioner of Animal Health in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries told journalists that they are currently investigating a factory that is said to be still illegally supplying inputs to farmers despite the ban on importation and the requirement that any dealer should have a certificate stipulating the materials contained in specific animal meals.

//Cue in; ”We know that…     

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Ademun says they moved a directive to farmers and veterinary officers to only give treatments to animals when they are sick and once the dose is complete, there should be a window period before people can start consuming particular products such as meat and milk.

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Agronomist Dr Irene Mbatidde said they have found a lot of poultry farmers to have resorted to using drugs including antibiotics to prevent diseases in ongoing research by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) being conducted in wakiso and Soroti districts to determine the extent of drug use by farmers and the associated danger.

She says they are doing this for even infections that can be prevented by simple practices such as farm hygiene and restricted access in addition to good feeding.  For her, other than bans, farmers need to understand the best practices.

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In this study which is being conducted amidst widespread concern about using drugs including HIV treatments in fattening poultry and animals, Mbatidde says farmers are already complaining to them that some drugs are no longer working.

But when they do further assessment of farmers especially in Wakiso where mapping has been completed, they see empty sachets and bottles of chemicals that farmers are adding to animal feeds. These practices she says are only fuelling resistance.

Steven Kakooza, a Public Health Specialist working with Veterinarians Without Borders (Vétérinaires Sans Frontièrea)-Germany says already they are in their passive surveillance seeing humans developing resistance to antibiotics that are commonly used in animals. This is because of the fact that traces of the drug are introduced to humans through products as meat and milk.

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Now, the researchers are calling for more awareness and have included in their three-year study an aspect of behavioural change by looking at behaviours of farmers in order to draft recommendations for reform. 

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