The Nyeri County Veterinary department has begun collecting samples of fish, milk, poultry, beef, and mutton from farms and markets in a survey on the use of antibiotics in livestock.
County Agriculture and Livestock Executive James Wachihi said the research was aimed at establishing if the use of antibiotics in livestock was linked to the resistance of lifesaving drugs among humans and the domestic animals.
Last year, the county set up a team to tackle drug resistance following reports of a new strain of mastitis in some parts of Mathira Constituency. “Some mastitis-causing bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics. For instance, pseudomonas has become resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline,” Mr Wachihi explained.
A committee comprised of professionals from the medical and agricultural sector was expected to create public awareness of drug-resistant bacteria.
“There is a close link between drug resistance and certain diseases in humans and the over-prescription of drugs in livestock," he said.
The committee has employed One Health approach to combat the link between livestock and human disease resistance. “In poultry, we have overuse of antibiotics while for milk there is the contamination of aflatoxins, especially when withdrawal periods are not observed,” he said.
There are times a farmer must avoid milking or slaughtering animals after administering antibiotics.