Chicken is the most consumed meat in India because it is cheaper than most other meat and also has less religious taboos associated with its consumption. There has been a lot of research and studies conducted where it was found that Indian poultry farms were not just breeding chickens, but they are also breeding deadly germs which can thwart the most potent antibiotics. Poultry farms are supplying the biggest poultry meat companies in India with meat containing medicines which the WHO describes as “critically important” to stave off disease.
Study on Poultry farms in Punjab leads to shocking discovery
A study was conducted by researchers from the US-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP). They collected samples from 530 birds in 18 poultry farms in Punjab, and conducted tests on them for resistance to a range of antibiotic medications. A high level of antibiotic resistant pathogens was found in chickens, which posed serious health hazards for humans. The birds were being fed with these antibiotics to promote growth. The researchers found high levels of multi-drug resistance; 39% for ciprofloxacin which is used in the treatment of humans for endocarditis, gastroenteritis etc., 86% for nalidixic acid, which is used for the treatment of urinary tract infections. Two-thirds of the fowl had bacteria which could produce special enzymes, known as ESBL, which could destroy most penicillin and cephalosporin based antibiotics.
Ramanan Laxminarayan, director at CDDEP said that this study had serious implications for India and the whole world as well and that the overuse of antibiotics in animal farms endangered all of us. It was very necessary to remove antibiotics from the human food chain, and that use of antibiotics for growth promotion in farm animals was increasing because of a rising demand for food animal products.
According to a 2015 study it was predicted the use of antibiotics in livestock could quadruple by 2030 in India, due to very high growth in chicken consumption. We at foodnetindia urge the government of India and the food regulator to look into these grave reports and curb the use of harmful antibiotics being used in the poultry farms in India and to establish strict guidelines for poultry farming in the country.