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State bans use of 20 antibiotics, other substances for shrimp aquaculture

State bans use of 20 antibiotics, other substances for shrimp aquaculture

KOLKATA: The state Fisheries department has banned 20 antibiotics and other pharmacologically active substances from use in shrimp aquaculture.

The department has formed a district level task force committee with 8 members headed by the District Magistrate of the concerned districts . The role of the committee has also been clearly assigned in a notification released by Secretary of the state Fisheries department .

The move comes in the wake of the country's apex drug regulatory authority asking states and union territories to restrict the availability and usage of banned veterinary antibiotics used in aquaculture particularly for shrimps. The use of antibiotics in aquaculture may result in development of pathogens into human beings and also the residue might result in development of pathogens in human body.

The decision was taken after the chairman of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) – a department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry – wrote a letter to the Secretary, of the Ministry of health and family welfare, requesting him to take "effective measures" to restrict the availability and usage of banned antibiotics in all food-producing animals including shrimps and fishes.

The Task Force Committee (TFC) will make frequent raids or random checks at al shops, manufacturing units and supplier of drugs, probiotics, chemicals feeds etc and take action on any unauthorized possession of such products.

"The TFC should ensure that the aqua shops do not sell veterinary grade products and encourage aqua grade drugs registered with CAA (Coastal Aquaculture Authority )only. Use of banned aqua products will attract huge penalty or cancellation of license for the concerned aqua shop, " a senior official of the department said.

According to sources in the state Fisheries department the importing nations have become stricter about India as a source of shrimp. The EU has increased the rate of testing for antibiotic residue in Indian shrimp shipments and the US regulators have even resorted to rejecting some Indian shipments after detecting antibiotics.

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