Bacterial diseases have for long been controlled using antibiotics. Sadly, diseases are becoming stronger and may not be treatable in future using these same medicines, putting at risk not only livestock, but also human beings.

Currently, there is no clear legislation gov­erning antibiotic use, hence, the grave danger staring at us. Diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis are becoming harder to treat as antibiotics become less effective. This is due to antibiotic resistance, which builds up when bac­teria become used to and grow in the presence of the medicine.

“New resistance is emerging and spreading across the globe, threatening the ability to treat ordinary infectious diseases. Farmers, especially poultry keepers and the entire food industry, should stop using antibiotics routinely to pro­mote growth and prevent diseases,” said Mr Douglas Malala, Evonik East Africa business manager and animal nutritionist.

Speaking in Nairobi during a recent event held by Essential Drugs company at a hotel on antibiotic use in animals and its control meas­ures, he said the failure by most farmers to ob­serve withdrawal periods, as instructed by drug manufacturers, could be among the causes of this problem. This is the time given between administering the last dose of medication to the production of meat or other animal-derived products for food and its consumption.

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