Govt Considers Ban On Two Antibiotics For Poultry And Animal Feed Supplements

New Delhi: The government is considering banning the production, import and distribution of the chloramphenicol and nitrofurans classes of antibiotics for use in any food-producing animal rearing system, after it has been found that these drugs are misused in poultry and other animal feed supplements.

Both are commonly used antibiotics to treat bacterial and urinary infections in humans.

The Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) – India’s top drug advisory body – will soon take up the issue of imposing a total ban on the import and production of chloramphenicol and nitrofuran drugs for use in the food- producing systems, people in the know told ET.

The matter was discussed by the Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) earlier where the members were of the view that drugs were often being misused for poultry and other animal feed supplements. Therefore, the committee agreed with a proposal for banning the import, production, distribution and sales of these drugs.

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) had also submitted a representation to the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying last year raising the same issue, after which the matter was considered by the Empowered Committee on Animal Health.

Following this, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying issued a memorandum last year in October to the MPEDA, stating that the committee had no objection to a total ban on import, production, distribution and sales of chloramphenicol and nitrofuran drugs for use in any food producing animal rearing systems.

The MPEDA then asked the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to take the necessary steps to implement the committee’s recommendation.

“The matter will finally be taken up by the DTAB after which a notification to this effect is likely to come,” said a person in the know.

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