Hyderabad: Despite a ban imposed by the Union agriculture ministry on using growth hormones, poultry are being fed the same for commercial exploitation. The severe summer took a huge toll on the birds and many of them died of virus attacks. Poultry owners are now injecting growth hormones, hoping to make up for their losses. An estimated 10,000 fully grown birds have died in the 25 authorised centres. A poultry owner said on condition of anonymity, “Some of the owners are desperate and want to recover their losses. Hence they are resorting to injecting hormones.”
The antibiotics used in livestock and poultry feeds are chlortetrachyline, procaine penicillin, oxytetracycline, tylosin, bacitracin, neomycin sulphate, streptomycin, erythromycin, linomycin, oleandomycin, virginamycin and bambermycin. These are used against virus and bacteria affecting poultry. With rampant misuse of antibiotics and growth hormones, the repercussions on human health are visible. According to the Federal Interagency Task Force on antimicrobial resistance, human resistance to sulfadiazine is 100 per cent as its residues were found in chicken and fowl. 75 per cent resistance has been recorded for streptomycin and 50 per cent for first line of antibiotics erythromycin, tobra-mycin and ampicillin.
According to global statics, 78,000 tonnes of antibiotics and growth hormones were used in livestock worldwide in 2014 and by 2030 this number will jump to 1.05,600 tonnes. A study published in November 2011 in the journal, The Science of Total Environment, says that chemical growth promoter used in cattle affects growth rate in girls. Dietician Sunitha Nehra explained, “Women’s bodies store fat and if they are on a regular diet of poultry it gets stored in the body. Large-scale endocrine disruption in the form of thyroid problems in women is attributed to the use of growth hormones, herbicides and pesticides which are used in various categories of food.”