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Doctors’ leaders in India call for ban on prophylactic antibiotics in poultry

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5052 (Published 06 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5052
  1. Priyanka Pulla
  1. 1Bangalore

The Indian Medical Association has called for a ban on the use of antibiotics for promoting growth and preventing disease in the poultry industry. The practice is thought to promote antibiotic resistance in birds, as well as in the farmers who handle them and the people who eat them. The association has demanded legal measures to prevent the use of medically important antibiotics in the animal food industry and regulatory controls to govern the sale of these antibiotics.

The association was responding to a recent study by an environmental advocacy group, the Centre for Science and Environment, which found residues of antibiotics such as enrofloxacin and doxycycline in chicken meat sold in and around Delhi.1 The researchers collected 70 chicken samples available for sale and examined liver, kidney, and muscle tissue for the presence of antibiotics. They found residues in 40% of the samples. Nearly a quarter (23%) had the residue of one antibiotic, and 17% had residues of more than one.

Narendra Saini, secretary general of the Indian Medical Association, said, “This study has given us an opportunity …

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