A survey on antibacterial drug usage in dairy farms in Tehran province during 2004-2005


Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran-Iran


BACKGROUND: Antibacterial drug use in food-producing animals may be associated with risks to public health. The present survey was carried out due to lack of data on the status of antibacterial drug usage in Tehran Province dairy farms. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the status of antibacterial drug usage in these farms and implementation of the points from public health view. METHODS: A total of 120 dairy farms in four regions of Tehran province including East (Damavand), South-East (Varamin and Shar-e-Rey), South-West (Shariar and Islamshar) and West (Karaj and Savojbolagh), were surveyed by direct interview using a questionnaire. RESULTS: The mean consumption rate of oxytetracycline and penicillin + streptomycin, 100% and 93.25%, respectively, were the most frequently used antibacterial products in these dairy farms in terms of variety, and a wide range of other antibacterials also showed high percentages of usage. Regarding intramammary formulations, cloxacillin, Dry Cow (DC), with a mean of 82.5%, was shown to be the most frequently used intramammary products in terms of variety. In 47.4% of farms, the orders for antibacterial drugs were issued by non-veterinarians. Also, in a considerable percentage of dairy farms the milk collected from animals receiving antibacterial drugs for mastitis (27.5%) or other infectious diseases (24.2%) were being entered into the milk reservoirs to be used for humans. CONCLUSIONS: The principles of rational antimicrobial therapy as well as withdrawal/ milk discard times are not implemented in a great percentage of these dairy farms. This situation may be due to lack of knowledge among dairymen regarding drug use and public health, and inadequate supervision of the veterinary offices of Tehran province.