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Antibiotics Banned for Animal Consumption

Introduction: Few antibiotics, which are effective in the treatment of infections, have been banned in India and abroad because they tend to cause more harm than good. In this article, we are going to learn about Antibiotics Banned for Animal Consumption that two such antibiotics namely, colistin and diclofenac.

Antibiotics banned for animal consumption


The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an order prohibiting the manufacture, sale and distribution of Colistin and its formulations for food-producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements.

  • The ban has been imposed under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
  • The Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), the government’s top advisory body on technical matters related to drugs in the country recommended prohibiting it.
  • Colistin is an antibiotic for therapeutic purpose in veterinary. But the drug is highly misused in poultry industry as a growth promoter for prophylactic purpose.
  • Also, colistin is a valuable, last-resort antibiotic that saves lives in critical care units but in recent years, there have been patients who have exhibited resistance to the drug.
  • This move is likely to reduce the antimicrobial resistance within the country.
  • Awareness programmes need to be conducted for farmers telling them about the dangers of using colistin in feed.
  • Since the bulk of Colistin (nearly 95%) is imported from China, it would be easy to stop importing it within a short time.

China, one of the largest manufacturers of colistin, has banned the use of the same within its boundaries for any producing animals or fish reared for consumption.

Antibiotics banned for animal consumption


  • The major reason behind the vulture population getting nearly wiped out was the drug Diclofenac. It was found in the carcass of cattle on which the vultures feed.
  • The drug was commonly administered to cattle to treat inflammation.
  • Its veterinary use was banned in 2008 by the Government of India.
  • Bioaccumulation (the gradual accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other chemicals in an organism) of Diclofenac caused kidney failure in Vultures, leading to death.
  • Diclofenac is dangerously fatal for Vultures. Even 1% of it in carcass would kill the Vulture in a short time after it feeds such carcass.
  • The poisoned carcasses were dumped to kill some local stray animals. But when vultures fed on them, it became one of the vital reasons leading to their death.
  • It is imperative to manage our carcass dumps and make sure that poisoned carcasses are not dumped for the vultures to feed on.
  • The forest department cremates the animal carcasses instead of burying them, to keep the poachers away. But this practice is denying food to vultures leading to their death out of starvation.