Use of Antibiotics in Animals and Its Possible Impacts in the Environment

Use of Antibiotics in Animals and Its Possible Impacts in the Environment

Jeeva M. Philip (Mahatma Gandhi University, India), Usha K. Aravind (Mahatma Gandhi University, India) and Charuvila T. Aravindakumar (Mahatma Gandhi University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4757-0.ch005
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Abstract

The application of antibiotics to livestock has become a serious global concern. The increasing demand for animal protein leads to a greater use of antibiotics in livestock production. This is contributing to a global scale-up in antibiotic consumption. This chapter analyses the use of antibiotics in animals and the emergence of antibiotics as a class of contaminants which pollute the natural environment and create antimicrobial resistance. The conclusion is that the current system is unable to withstand ethical health concerns.
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Global Antimicrobial Consumption In Livestock

The increased demand for animal protein that leads to greater use of antibiotics in livestock production is considered one of the trends contributing to a global scale-up in antibiotic consumption. This trend began just after the Second World War when there was a lack of good quality feed (Aarestrup, 2012). Antibiotic consumption in livestock worldwide is twice that of humans (Aarestrup, 2012; WHO, 2012). For instance, in the United States ~80% of the nation’s annual antibiotic consumption accounted for antimicrobial use in animals (CDDEP, 2015; Van Boeckel et al., 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Growth Promoter: Application of medication to stimulate growth.

Antimicrobial Resistance: The ability of a bacteria to stop an antimicrobial, such as antibiotic, to work against it.

Antibiotics: Medicines used to treat infections or diseases caused by bacteria; referred also as antibacterials.

Pharmaceutical: Related to medicinal drugs or a medicinal drug.

Sub-Therapeutic Dose: A dose of medicine that is less than the amount required for treating a disease.

Metaphylaxis: Mass application of medication to a group of animals to prevent or minimise disease outbreaks.

Wastewater Treatment Plant: A plant which treats wastewater and sewage by eliminating contaminants with the aim of the treated water to be safely disposed in the natural environment.

Prophylactic: Application of medicine or other actions intended to prevent a disease.

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