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Antibiotic Use in Dairy Sector

  • 30 Jul 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) held an online meeting on antibiotic use in the dairy sector.

Key Points

  • India is the world's largest milk producer, and it also forms an integral part of Indian diets, especially of children’s.
    • It produced 188 million tonnes (MT) of milk in 2018-19.
    • Urban areas consume 52% of it and the unorganised sector, comprising milkmen and contractors, caters to 60% of this consumer base.
    • The remaining demand is met by dairy cooperatives and private dairies which represent the organised sector.
  • Concerns:
    • Inadequate Focus on Testing: There is an inadequate focus on testing for antibiotic residues in the milk collected by State federations, which process it and sell it as packaged milk.
    • Extensive Misuse: Antibiotics are extensively misused in the dairy sector. Such chemical-intensive food leads to antibiotic resistance.
    • No Professional Help: Farmers often inject animals on their own judgment of signs and symptoms of a disease without any veterinary supervision.
    • Indiscriminate Usage: Dairy farmers indiscriminately use antibiotics for diseases such as mastitis (infection/inflammation of the udder) which is a common ailment in dairy animals.
      • The antibodies used by them often include Critically Important Antibiotics (CIAs) for humans.
      • The WHO has warned that the CIAs should be preserved in view of the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance.
      • Farmers often sell milk while the animal is under treatment, which increases the chances of antibiotic residues.
    • Easy Availability: The antibiotics are easily available without the prescription of a registered veterinarian and stocked at farms.

Source: TH

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