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Cooperation urged as antibiotic resistance looms in Thailand

Thai government recently called for awareness of appropriate use of antimicrobials across all sectors.

November 19, 2018

3 Min Read
Cooperation urged as antibiotic resistance looms in Thailand

The Thai government recently called for appropriate antimicrobial use in humans, animals and agriculture to help the country achieve its national strategic plan to prevent and mitigate antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR claims the lives of more than 30,000 people in Thailand each year. The number is projected to skyrocket over the next few decades.

Last month, at the second OIE Global Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance in Morocco, Grisada Boonrach, minister of agriculture and cooperatives for Thailand, said the country recognized the urgency of the AMR issue and, therefore, set up a National Strategic Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (2017-21) in accordance with the “One Health approach” and a global action plan on AMR.

Thailand's national plan targets reductions in antimicrobial use in people and animals by 20% and 30%, respectively, by 2021. Grisada noted that it is important for all sectors to work together to accomplish this goal.

“As a complex problem, AMR requires comprehensive and unified collaboration of all sectors. Thailand is joining together to make a change locally in order to make a global impact against AMR,” the agriculture minister said.

The strategic plan reportedly is welcomed by private sector. Thai food producers have made significant progress as a responsible antimicrobial user in the recent years.

CP Foods (CPF), the country’s largest food producer, announced a "Global Vision on Antimicrobials Use in Animals” to affirm the sustainable production of safe and quality food as well as comply with government policy.

CPF also applied key practices throughout the One Health approach together with the following details:

1. To provide global best practices of responsible antimicrobial use in food animals, requiring prudent use;

2. To eliminate the use of shared-class antimicrobials that are medically important for human medicine for growth promotion purposes globally;

3. To work with global partners to identify new and better ways to care for animals to enhance animal welfare and reduce the need for antimicrobials;

4. To increase the role of the veterinarian in antimicrobial oversight, and

5. To develop an AMR monitoring program with national and international organizations.

The policy has been implemented in Thailand since October 2017, while CPF's overseas operations will fully adopted this policy by 2020.

Dr. Damnoen Chaturavittawong, senior vice president of the swine veterinary service department at CPF, added that good farming practices, such as biosecurity and animal welfare, are used as a proactive way to lessen antimicrobial consumption.

CPF's Animal welfare policy was announced this year. The policy will improve animals’ quality of life and, furthermore, mitigate antimicrobial consumption at farms.

“CP Foods has improved its farming practice to be in line with the internationally recognized Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare. With suitable environmental and farming practices, our animals are in good health and mental condition. Subsequently, we can reduce our reliance on antimicrobial drugs,” he explained.

The company also introduced a new line of product in response to consumer concerns on antibiotic drugs, called Benja chicken. Benja Chicken is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, which guarantees that the chickens under the brand are raised in cage-free farms without antibiotics and hormones added for their entire lives.

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