As the yuletide sets in, it is pertinent that Nigerians should know that consuming chicken or chicken eggs from an unprofessional poultry farmer may expose their body to resisting antibiotics treatment.
This is because birds which are treated with antibiotics are not meant to be consumed immediately until the withdrawal period is observed.
Dr Fadipe Oladotun, a veterinary practitioner who spoke with Nigerian Tribune said most poultry farmers who are out to make gains, sell off their birds immediately the administer antibiotics on them without observing the withdrawal period.
The withdrawal period is a time interval when the antibiotics in the birds degrade, making it unable for the consumer to develop resistance to the antibiotics after consumption of the bird.
Dr Oladotun explained that if a person consumes a bird that still has particles of antibiotics in its system, it is as good as the person taking the antibiotics by him or herself, but in low quantity, which will now make the person develops resistance to that antibiotics, that when the person consumes that antibiotics in the future, it won’t be potent.
“When an antibiotic is used on an animal, for example, chicken, and the withdrawal period is not followed because once antibiotic enters the system, it is supposed to be degraded, so if that meat is consumed before that antibiotic is degraded in the animal, it is still potent enough like when it is consumed by a human being, but the problem now is that it will be consumed at a dose that is not sufficient enough to be able to work within the system, then it can over time bud resistance because the organisms that are supposed to respond to those antibiotics, they have seen it and they have overpowered it because it is not up to the required dose to deal with them.
“So, when the required dose comes after sometimes, because they (Organisms) have been able to build a resistance to it, that drug will not function the way it was supposed to function.
“So, that is actually the relationship between when you use antibiotics in animals and then it is being consumed by man when the correct procedure is not followed, over time it exposes the people that are taking it to not being able to get the result they want they eventually use the correct antibiotics”, Dr Oladotun.
He said if birds are laying eggs, there are some types of antibiotics that should not be administered to them so that it doesn’t find its way into the egg.
“If some birds are laying eggs, there are some antibiotics that is not supposed to used on them because it has a way of entering into the egg that they are laying, if human beings consume those eggs, the process will also be followed because definitely those in that egg is very small, and that is what builds up in the system to eventually cause problem of antibiotics resistance in man”, he explained.
He said if farmers can follow the instructions on the withdrawal period which is mostly not over 7 days, the problem would be averted.
He also advised that Nigerians should purchase poultry products from certified poultry farmers, instead of those farmers are a desperate to make money, and willing to sell off their birds without observing the withdrawal period for antibiotics.
“The remedy is to follow instructions, if you know you have given the animal antibiotics, make sure you wait for the time that is called withdrawal period and they are not very long period, most of them are about 7 days, it is only very few that is more than 7 days, some are five days.
“If that period is followed, definitely the problem will not arise. The problem we even have is indiscriminate use of antibiotics, a lot of people don’t wait for prescription before they look for antibiotics and give their chicken, sometimes even chicken that is not even sick because they don’t want them to fall sick, they pumping antibiotics into them and because they are business people, once they see buyers, they just sell it off.
“But we are educating the public, we are pleading with the public that when they want to buy some of those products, they should consult and get the product from the right source because we have people now who are doing their poultry without the abuse of antibiotics, they deliberately make sure they are not abusing antibiotics in the process”.
The National President of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Ezekiel Ibrahim said they have been carrying out enlightenment campaign on farmers on the use of antibiotics.
“What we emphasize now is biosecurity, because when you constantly use antibiotics, the animal will develop resistance, and any human that consumes such animal may also develop resistance to that antibiotics”, he added.