FAO Fisheries Department; Improving biosecurity through prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines in aquatic food production

FAO Fisheries Department

Improving biosecurity through prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines in aquatic food production


The current trend towards increasing intensification and diversification of global aquaculture has led

to its dramatic growth, thus making aquaculture an important food-producing sector that provides

an essential source of aquatic protein for a growing human population. For both developed and

developing countries, the sector is recognized as creator of jobs and an important source of foreign

export earnings. The expansion of commercial aquaculture, as is the case in commercial livestock

and poultry production, has necessitated the routine use of veterinary medicines to prevent and treat

disease outbreaks owing to pathogens, assure healthy stocks and maximize production. The expanded

and occasionally irresponsible global movements of live aquatic animals have been accompanied by

the transboundary spread of a wide variety of pathogens that have sometimes caused serious damage

to aquatic food productivity and resulted in serious pathogens becoming endemic in culture systems

and the natural aquatic environment. The use of appropriate antimicrobial treatments is one of the

most effective management responses to emergencies associated with infectious disease epizootics.

However, their inappropriate use can lead to problems related to increased frequency of bacterial

resistance and the potential transfer of resistance genes in bacteria from the aquatic environment

to other bacteria. Injudicious use of antimicrobials has also resulted in the occurrence of their

residues in aquaculture products and, as a consequence, bans by importing countries and associated

economic impacts, including market loss, have occurred. As disease emergencies can happen even

in well-managed aquaculture operations, careful planning on the use of antimicrobials is essential

in order to maximize their efficacy and minimize the selection pressure for increased frequencies of

resistant variants. The prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines is an essential component

of successful commercial aquaculture production systems.

The FAO/AAHRI Expert Workshop on Improving Biosecurity through Prudent and Responsible

Use of Veterinary Medicines in Aquatic Food Production was convened in Bangkok, Thailand, from

15 to 18 December 2009, in order to understand the current status of the use of antimicrobials in

aquaculture and to discuss the concerns and impacts of their irresponsible use on human health, the

aquatic environment and trade. Such discussions became the basis for drafting recommendations

targeted for both government and private sectors and for developing guiding principles on the

responsible use of antimicrobials in aquaculture to be considered as part of future FAO Code of

Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) Technical Guidelines on Prudent and Responsible Use

of Veterinary Medicines in Aquaculture.

Because aquaculture is expected to continue to increase its contribution to the world’s production

of aquatic food, offer opportunities to alleviate poverty, increase employment and community

development and reduce overexploitation of natural aquatic resources, appropriate guidance to

aquaculture stakeholders on the responsible use of veterinary medicines has become essential. Safe

and effective veterinary medicines need to be available for efficient aquaculture production, and

their use should be in line with established principles on prudent use to safeguard public and animal

health. The use of such medicines should be part of national and on-farm biosecurity plans and in

accordance with an overall national policy for sustainable aquaculture.

This publication is presented in two parts: Part 1 contains 15 technical background papers

presented during the expert workshop, contributed by 29 specialists, and which served as a basis for

the expert workshop deliberations; Part 2 contains the highlights of the expert workshop.

Click to access ba0056e.pdf

About Dr. Bukar USMAN, mni

I started as a field Veterinary officer with Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and later joined College of Agric, Maiduguri as a lecture & a Researcher in the Department of Animal Health & Production. I was appointed the Provost of the College In 2003. In 2007 I was appointed Hon. Commissioner & Member Borno State Executive Council and later appointed Permanent Secretary with the Borno State Civil Service in 2009. I was the National Facilitator Animal Health, National Programme For Food Security of the Federal Ministry of Agric & Rural Development, Abuja. I was Director, Veterinary Medicine & Allied Products (VMAP) and now Director North East Zone NAFDAC. I’m a member of the National Institute’ (mni), Kuru SEC 40, 2018. I engaged myself in various aspects of the veterinary profession. I founded Sril Group Ltd, Nigeria.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s