Today, antibiotics are not just made and consumed by humans. Fishery, agriculture as well as livestock farming also rely on them. Moreover, in many developed the farm animal industry uses antibiotics four times more than humans.
It’s seen as a vital part of food security. However, the use of antibiotics can be decreased in many ways. One of the solutions is the prophylactic method that includes the use of vaccines.
This is quite widespread nowadays in the field of poultry and more than 95-100% of it is vaccinated against many deadly viruses, except in backyard systems. Other options include the use of immunomodulators which encourages the defense mechanism in animals so that the disease won’t affect them.
This is the reason why in India some formulations that have zinc, selenium, chromium, vitamin E and products involving bacterial cell wall lipopolysacharides are so much popular.
Taking care of the chicks’s stress is also effective and it can be managed easily through many simple things. One way is to provide clean air in farms via forced ventilation or guarantee 24/7 clean sanitised drinking water. Stress can also be eliminated via herbal some efficient formulas, herbal liver supplements, and cool hour feeding programme for tropical climate.
Another option is supporting the breeding of indigenous breeds that are adapted geo-climatically. Organic acids, including acetic acid (vinegar) and formic acids can also be added to feed and water.
This is really effective in improving chicks’ health. It can also improve digestion system and control pathogenic organisms. In many countries as well as in the European Union antibiotics in poultry have been banned, so they started using several successful commercial acidifiers. So we can say they have already altered antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) mixed feeds.
In order to reduce the level of toxins in the feed, some toxin binders including activated carbon and bentonite are also used in the feed. It’s also worth mentioning that in India nearly all poultry feeds have added these toxin binders depending on each season.
Remedies at Hand
Extracts from turmeric, ginger, pepper and garlic are included in the feed for controlling the bacteria. They are thought to be very efficient antimicrobials. What’s more? Enzymes from genetically engineered colonies of microorganisms and bacteriophages that can enzymatically break down the cell wall of that exact bacteria, or hinder with DNA transcription or protein synthesis of bacteria are used as well.
Previously, in order to achieve better digestion and health, enzymes like cellulase and phytase were used. However, enzymatic treatment is currently the newest trend in India.
Another way of decreasing consumption of antibiotics is by improving biosecurity and making sure that there are no harmful pathogenic organisms at all in the farm. Infrastructure also plays a great role and a lot of attention should be paid to this factor as well. It can prevent the presence (entry) of vectors, vermin, pathogens, or predators into the farming system.
The world also uses some environment control houses with the highest level of automation as well as sensors for humidity, carbon dioxide, temperature and ammonia load. In India, they are very popular nowadays.
The capital invested can be enhanced in just 2 years, thus profits will grow by 10-20 per cent yearly. It will be up to Rs 400 for each bird designed for the automation capital cost and it will be up to Rs 600 per bird for the price of construction with insulated sandwich panels.
This system should be encouraged by the government and they should also deliver soft loans and interest subsidies on prompt repayment.
Anyway, the Indian poultry industry adopts technologies just so that there will be no economic losses because of diseases and not due to antibiotic resistance.
These methods work quite perfectly to phase out chemo prophylactic use of antibiotics in some farms in the recent 5-6 years. This also resulted in the reduction of diseases and threats.
Policies should be improved. A special formulation needs to be created that can control food import and export. This formulation should be strictly coordinated for antibiotic usage.
For instance, the product should be destroyed by the international agencies instead of just ignoring the product ignoring a product because of the presence of antibiotic debris. Otherwise, the product will be exported to other countries with less demanding norms or it will become into pet foods. So there should be created a system that will reduce the consumption of antibiotics for growth promotion as well as for prophylactic purposes where they are used for feed mixes.
There should also be legalised medical prescription and supervision so that the trade of antibiotics will be under control.
State departments of animal cultivation should take the responsibility for sticking to food safety and production norms.
State laboratories and infrastructure should also control the cause of mortality in animals, so that it will be identified earlier and farmers should have the responsibility to treat the flock.
A public awareness is also needed so that people will know how to use antibiotics and how it can impact on health.
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