The number of available antibiotics to treat human diseases efficiently is becoming more and more limited, this is according to The World Health Organization which, in the past has even gone as far as issuing a medicine list protected reserved for humans only.
Animal pharmaceutical company, V-Tech agrees with the supervision and monitoring of the use of antibiotics on animals to ensure the safety for consumers.
“There is a list of critical antibiotics, it’s reserved only for human use and is not used in animal production but it is also important to have proper guardians over the antibiotics that are used in animal production,” said Johan Oosthuyse, CEO of V-Tech.
Oosthuyse adds: “V-Tech realised seven years ago that for our company to remain sustainable in the supply of antibiotics in the long-term, we would have to implement a surveillance programme, which we did – whereby we monitor the resistance pattern of different bacteria to antibiotics that is used in agriculture.”
A significant concern is that the animal produce humans are consuming contains antibiotics from when the animal was treated, in turn making future use of antibiotics less effective, however Oostuyse assured CNBC Africa that South Africa is responsible.
“The use of antibiotics in the animal production units in South Africa is in actual fact very responsible and well controlled, antibiotics are only used when animals are sick and sick animals don’t find their way into the consumer market or getting consumed by humans.”
He explains how important it is to make sure that if an animal is treated, that it is allowed sufficient time for the antibiotics to get out of its system – before being offered for human consumption as well as a thorough database to make sure the antibiotics are issued more carefully.
“We [V-Tech] are in a position now, with quite a big database, where we can advise our customers and the producers what would be the correct antibiotic to use in case an animal gets sick,” said Oostuyse.
“Therefore if an antibiotic is indicating resistance, we would avoid using it and rely on prudent use of these antibiotics moving forward.”
“One of the most important conditions of the import of poultry from the U.S. was that these poultry have to be tested to be sure that they do not carry any organisms that could be harmful to our consumers or that they would carry any antibiotics that would be harmful to the consumer.”
He says this is a principle that is applied with the movement of most animal products across borders to minimise the spread of certain diseases and organisms.
“I do believe that that is implemented and that the poultry product that are imported are in actual fact tested at this point in time,” said Oostuyse.