The issue of "excessive use" of antibiotics in poultry was raised in the Lok Sabha today, with a Congress member expressing concern that those eating chicken were developing resistance to antibiotics creating a dangerous situation.
He also sought urgent steps by the government to prevent bulk purchase of such drugs by poultry owners and a thorough examination of samples.
"Poultry owners are indulging in excessive use of antibiotics, especially in chicken, which seriously affects the resistance capacity of humans who consume them," M I Shanavas said during the Zero Hour.
Maintaining that high antibiotic residue was being found in chicken and other poultry products which must be prevented, he said the antibiotics used included oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline, enrofloxacin, neomycin and ciprofloxacin.
Shanavas demanded urgent steps by the government to prevent bulk purchase of antibiotics by poultry owners and said samples of poultry products should be randomly checked and thorough examination carried out to deter widespread use of antibiotics.
His plea came in the backdrop of a recent report of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) which claimed that chicken and poultry products had been found to contain antibiotic residue, paving the way for growing resistance to antibiotics in humans.
The pollution monitoring lab at CSE had tested 70 samples of chickens in Delhi and surrounding areas of Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Faridabad and found such residues.
Poultry owners pumped antibiotics into chicken during their short life of 35 to 42 days to promote growth so that they look bigger and to treat or prevent infections. India has no law to regulate antibiotic use in the poultry sector, the report claimed.
The CSE claims have, however, been refuted by the Poultry Federation and the National Egg Coordination.