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Sunday, May 15, 2016

No move to ban antibiotic use in poultry

JOHOR BARU - There are no plans to ban the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry as there is no scientific proof to show that humans can suffer side-effects if they consume poultry that have been administered antibiotics.

"Poultry are like humans. When they are sick, infected by bacteria, we should give them antibiotics to cure them," Datuk Dr Kamarudin Md Isa, director-general of the Department of Veterinary Services, said when officiating the national-level celebrations of World Veterinary Day at the department's complex in Bandar Baru Uda here, today.

He said the poultry industry uses antibiotics during the growing period of livestock.

"Usually they stop using it when the livestock are ready to be sold in the market, probably a week before," he added.

He said this was done to ensure there is no antibiotics residue in the poultry meat when it reaches the consumers.

Kamarudin said all countries use antibiotics in the poultry industry, including the United States.

He urged the public not to follow the tune of anti-antibiotics groups, saying: "The price of chicken will be very high if we do not use antibiotics, are we ready to pay for it?"

According to statistics, Kamarudin said, half the people getting ill effects from antibiotics was due to wrong prescriptions.

"I always argue with my doctor when he gives me antibiotics because I think my fever is caused by virus, not bacteria," he said.

"No scientific research has proved that humans can get the negative effects of antibiotics from eating meat."

Kamarudin also urged the public to recognise the services of veterinary doctors.

"They contribute a lot to maintain a safety system of meat processing, such as poultry breeding, poultry disease control and meat processing," he said.

He said local universities produced 140 veterinary doctors last year,

"Job prospect for veterinary doctors is good, all the graduates are fully employed," he said.

There are 2,200 registered veterinary doctors in the nation currently.

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