Ethnoveterinary practices are more cost-effective than allopathic treatment; it also allows farmers to monitor the process
Livestock production is crucial for the nutritional well-being of people in India. The dairy sector supports the livelihoods of many farmers and contributes to the economy of the country.
India is one of the primary consumers of antibiotics; antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria are a major public health concern. Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria can be transferred from animals to humans either through direct contact or contaminated food, or indirectly through a contaminated environment.
Antimicrobial resistance causes nearly 700,000 deaths annually across the world. Every country is potentially affected. If not properly addressed, the number could grow to 10 million per year by 2050, making it deadlier than cancer.
AMR occurs when bacteria and other microbes become less susceptible to antibiotics used to treat infections caused by them. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics accelerate the process of antibiotic resistance. Resistant bacteria then spread via healthcare-acquired infections.
It is usually the improper use of antimicrobials in livestock that gathers attention; medicines with a lower dose of active ingredients may also lead to resistance.
Malabar Milk Union, therefore, formulated organised strategies to address the menace. The body ensures broad access to affordable herbal medicines and funds for the development of new treatments covered under ethnoveterinary medicine, besides proper stewardship of existing antimicrobial treatments.
Strategies framed at Malabar Milk Union to curb AMR
The union collects around eight litres of milk every day from more than 0.1 million farmers. Most farmers rear hybrid cows, whose susceptibility to diseases such as mastitis is high.
The union started work on framing strategies from 2018 onwards. They are elaborated in the table below:
|Description||Year of operation|
|Number of clinical cases treated through ethnoveterinary practices||Mastitis – 150 cases Diarrhea – 258 cases Pyrexia – 200 cases||
Mastitis – 1,916
| Mastitis – 1,271
Diarrhea – 650
Pyrexia – 698
Immunity boosting bolus – 3,628
In this current financial year 2021-2022, the application process of appropriate drug license for the manufacturing 10 types of ethnoveterinary medicines — Masticure, Pyrexcare, Immunoboost, Cough Out, Crack Heal, Diar End, Rumotore, Heal All, Milklet and Flyrepel — is under progress in association with the Kerala Ayurvedic Co-operative Society.
The medicines will be distributed across Kerala under the brand name Milma Vet once it obtains the drug license to do so.
KC James is general manager, Malabar Milk Union
Views expressed are the author's own and don't necessarily reflect those of Down To Earth
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