Abuse of antibiotics in animal husbandry is alarming in Việt Nam, experts say.

" />

Antibiotics plague husbandry

November 21, 2017 - 09:00

Abuse of antibiotics in animal husbandry is alarming in Việt Nam, experts say.

Improper use of antibiotics in breeding will result in antibiotic resistance and residues in food that causes more potential risks for consumers’ health and livelihood, experts say. - VNA/VNS Photo Thu Hiền
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Abuse of antibiotics in animal husbandry is alarming in Việt Nam, experts have warned.

Experts from Vietnamese Platform for Antimicrobial Reductions in Chicken production (ViParc) project that helps farmers in the Mekong Delta raise chickens using less antimicrobials said that urgent action was needed to combat drug use in breeding.

A survey on 200 chicken farms in Mekong Delta conducted in ViParc project, led by Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Việt Nam, revealed that the average use of drugs for each chicken was 470mg, higher than the use of antibiotic in Europe’s farms by 5-7 times.

Antibiotics in feed may account for up to 25 per cent of all drugs used in poultry farming, the study showed.

From November 2016 to March this year, OUCRU tested 356 samples of meat sold at markets in Đồng Tháp Province, HCM City and Hà Nội, and found that antibiotic residue were found in 15.8 per cent of samples in Đồng Tháp, 4.3 per cent in HCM City and 1.7 per cent in Hà Nội.

At a recent workshop on National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Management and Control in Livestock and Aquaculture hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN and United States Agency for International Development, experts said improper use of antibiotics in breeding would result in antibiotic resistance and residue in food that causes risks for consumers’ health.

According to ViParc, the use of antibiotics in livestock breeding is expected to increase in the next decade, particularly in developing countries. Particularly, antibiotic use in Việt Nam is predicted to increase by 157 per cent between 2010 and 2030.

Antibiotic residue in animal products can contribute to antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, according to Hạnh Văn, a biotechnology expert.

“If people eat meat with high antibiotic resistance, the risk from it is also very high,” a pharmaceutical expert, Nguyễn Đức Thái, told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper.

He said that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock has greatly affected exports. A lot of seafood products for export were returned in recent years due to antibiotic residue.

The agriculture ministry has decided to ban the use of antibiotics in animal and fish feed since 2018. By 2020, the use of antibiotics for the prevention of animal diseases will also be banned.

At present, the ministries of agriculture and health both manage the import and production of some antibiotics.

According to the World Health Organisation, antimicrobial resistance results in some 700,000 global deaths per year. By 2050, the number of deaths attributed to antimicrobial resistance is estimated to be 10 million per year. — VNS