Government ban on colistin for use in poultry industry
The Centre has issued an order banning the last line antibiotic, colistin, for use in animals. With this ban, the government cracks down on misuse of antibiotics in poultry industry as growth promoters, which is one of the key reasons for growing antibiotic resistance in the country.
The Union health ministry issued an order on Friday that prohibits the manufacture, sale and distribution of colistin and its formulations for food producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements with immediate effect.
“Colistin is an antibiotic meant for therapeutic purposes in veterinary but this drug is highly misued in poultry industry as a growth promoter for prophylactic purpose. One of the reasons for anti-microbial resistance in India is due to unwanted use of the drug in poultry industry. This notification will prevent use of the drug for prophylactic use,” said a senior health ministry official, requesting anonymity.
The ministry had been contemplating banning the use of drug in animals for long. The Drugs Technical Advisory Board, country’s apex advisory board, had recommended for prohibiting the drug and its formulations for use in animals.
“…it is brought to the notice of the Central Government that the use of the drug Colistin and its formulations for food producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements is likely to involve risk to human being… the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary and expedient in the public interest to prohibit the manufacture, sale and distribution of the drug Colistin and its formulations…,” reads the government order.
According to experts, the use of antibiotics such as colistin should be considered last-resort, and used only in the most severe circumstances when all other alternatives have failed, such as for life-threatening infections due to multidrug-resistant bacteria.
“Misuse of last resort antibiotics such as colistin is a major concern as it fuels anti microbial resistance that’s a global concern. It is a step in the right direction,” said a government researcher, requesting anonymity.