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Hi Trinity thanks so much for this question, I think that this is a really important topic and I am glad someone brought it up. The unscrupulous use of antibiotics in farm animals has drastically exacerbated the problems of antibiotic resistance and experts argue that implementing measures that will help to reduce the abuse of antibiotics in livestock farming will help with lessening antibiotic resistance (1). Christy Manyi-Loh and her colleagues did a study on antibiotic use in agriculture and its consequential resistance in environmental sources and had the following recommendations: Firstly, it was found that there is a general lack of knowledge among farmers regarding antibiotic use, storage, its abuse, and consequent hazards to public health and the environment (1). Other sources also corroborate that educating both the farmers and the general population on the dangers of misusing antibiotics, and its consequences on public health will have the greatest effect in reducing antibiotic resistance due to agriculture (2). Furthermore, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal farming should be avoided. Veterinary officers and pharmacists should adhere strictly to the policies governing prescriptions of antibiotics used in animal farming. They should ensure that the farmers adhere to the dosage, length, and administration of treatment and withdrawal periods of antibiotics prescribed for a purpose, as well as the causative agent of the disease, be diagnosed and antibiotic susceptibility testing conducted against the disease causative agent prior to prescription and employment of the antibiotics (3).

(1) Manyi-Loh, C., Mamphweli, S., Meyer, E., & Okoh, A. (2018). Antibiotic Use in Agriculture and Its Consequential Resistance in Environmental Sources: Potential Public Health Implications. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(4), 795.

(2) Islam, K. S., Shiraj-Um-Mahmuda, S., & Hazzaz-Bin-Kabir, M. (2016). Antibiotic usage patterns in selected broiler farms of Bangladesh and their public health implications. Journal of Public Health in Developing Countries, 2(3), 276-284.

(3) Osei Sekyere J. (2014). Antibiotic Types and Handling Practices in Disease Management among Pig Farms in Ashanti Region, Ghana. Journal of veterinary medicine, 2014, 531952.

Pierce Colpman

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