Association raises alert on antimicrobial resistance to livestock

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The Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association(NVMA) has joined the global effort to raise awareness on antimicrobial resistance to livestock.

The NVMA made the call in a statement to mark the World Antibiotic Awareness Week, signed by its publicity secretary, Dr Gloria Daminabo.

The association stressed that though antimicrobial are useful in disease treatment, their misuse leads to failure as microbes develop resistance to these life-saving treatments.

It said these resistant microbes are also transferred to other animals and humans as well.

Antimicrobial resistance in livestock industry is a threat to public health, livestock productivity, food security and the economy, especially in developing nations such as Nigeria,’’ the association said.

The NVMA said the Nigerian situation arose as a result of poor production practices, poor hygiene, weak policies, under regulation of antimicrobial use in animals and inadequate veterinary and other related manpower.

The statement said that with antimicrobial resistance come attendant losses from increased cost of research in producing more effective antibiotics, when the available ones stop working.

Other losses noted by the NVMA as a result of antimicrobial resistance include;   increased cost of livestock production, as more funds go into treatment and losses from deaths of livestock and people.

It also said the country shall be unable to neither participate, nor benefit fully from international trade in animal products in spite of enormous livestock resources.

On this note, the association also called on stakeholders in the livestock production sector to imbibe good production practices, and seek advice from professionals with the use of antimicrobial.

It urged all regulatory agencies and professionals to be proactive and alert to their responsibilities, and work in synergy to reduce antibiotic misuse in the overall interest of the country.

The association pledged to continue its advocacy and professional role, and  in collaboration with all relevant stake-holders and the public, to curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance to the benefit of humanity.