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The scourge of antibiotics in animal feed

ILRI Asia

(This post was written by Aisling Irwin and originally posted on http://www.scidev.net. Some research findings by the International Livestock Research Institute were picked up.)

‘Antibiotics are routinely added to animal feed in poor nations, fuelling superbugs. But new solutions are emerging, writes Aisling Irwin.

When researchers asked pig farmers in Thai Nguyen province, Vietnam, whether they routinely added antibiotics to their animal feed to make them grow faster, only one in a hundred said yes. Fears had been growing that the practice, which fattens swine and also wards off infection, was widespread, but hard data was scarce, so the study’s results – obtained by researchers from Australia and Vietnam in 2018 –  were reassuring.

But food safety scientist Hung Nguyen, of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), was not convinced. Cheap antibiotics are widely available without prescription in Vietnam and he suspected that his country’s 30 million…

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