NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of certain reports on use of antibiotics in feed and feed supplements of livestock and poultry in the country, the Centre has planned to launch ‘One Health’ initiative where it can deal with human and animal health together by regulating use of antibiotics in animals as well as human.
Under this plan having multiple regulatory components, the department of biotechnology and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) will join hands to launch a “compulsory” national immunisation programme for livestock to address vaccine preventable disease.
Estimates of global antibiotic used in poultry, swine and cattle in 2010 indicate that India accounted for 3% of global consumption and the country was among the top consumers worldwide, along with China, the US and Brazil.
Projections for 2030 estimate that the use of antibiotics in animals in the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – is expected to double.
“Use of antibiotics in chickens, in particular, is expected to triple in India by 2030 and therefore it is important to regulate the use of antibiotics in animals as well as humans to tackle the issue,” said Union science & technology minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday while referring to the plan to launch compulsory ‘national immunisation programme for livestock’.
He was addressing a conference on plan to launch ‘One Health’ initiative – an inter-sectoral approach for tackling the most urgent health threats in India.
Stakeholders on the occasion discussed the growing use of antimicrobial agents in the backdrop of the latest report of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). It indicated how many countries have been using such agents as growth promoters to fatten the animals.
The report, which analysed data submitted by 155 countries as of 2017, noted that 45 countries (29%) reported use of antimicrobials for growth promotion. It said 18 out of these 45 countries had a regulatory framework that either provided a list of antimicrobials that can be used as growth promoters or provided a list of those that should not be used as growth promoters.
Out of the 45 countries, 18 are in Americas (North & South America), 14 in Asia, Far East and Oceania, 10 in Africa, two in Europe and one in middle east. Though the report does not disclose names of countries, many other reports of different organisations in the past had identified those countries including India.