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Call for action to halt farmers’ use of antibiotics for fish, prawn stocks as drug-resistance fears

Nov 19. 2018
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By The Nation

Some farmers sprinkle antibiotic medicine onto their fish and prawn stocks that are kept inside floating baskets either in enclosed ponds or natural waterways, a practice that poses the dual threat of drug resistance in consumers and environmental pollution, experts at Chulalongkorn University said on Monday.

Such misuse of antibiotics in the fishery sector has been reported from various areas in Thailand, including their use in floating baskets in rivers, said Niyada Kiatying-Angsulee, manager of the university’s Drug System Monitoring and Development Centre.

She urged the authorities to check and stop such antibiotic-medicine misuse, which was done to prevent disease among aquaculture-farmed animals, according to some farmers. 

“It is worrying because studies have showed that there would be 10 million drug resistance-related [human] deaths per year in Thailand in the next three decades if nothing concrete is done to curb this issue now,” Niyada explained. 

In related news, Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai on Monday confirmed that he had already assigned the Food and Drug Administration and the Medical Sciences Department of the ministry to join with respective provincial health offices to check on orange orchards’ reported use of the antibiotic amoxicillin to treat citrus greening disease, following the Drug System Monitoring and Development Centre’s report of such misuse late last week.

“The drug-resistance issue is a national matter that must be dealt with [by acting on all aspects] together," Sukhum said.

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