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NAFDAC bans use of antibiotics, gentian violet as mold inhibitors in animal feed

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control just released a policy on the ban of use of all classes of antibiotics and gentian violet as mould inhibitors in animal feed.

The regulatory directive which was given by the Director General of NAFDAC is due to several reports of consumption of mould infested (a fungus) feed by livestock which was causing fungal diseases in livestock such as mycosis and mycotoxicosis.

The agency discovered that Gentian violet which is an antiseptic dye used to treat skin fungal infections (such as ringworm, athlete’s foot) and also has weak antibacterial effects which may be used on scrapes and minor cut to prevent infection, is also added to animal feed to inhibit fungal infections.

It noted that Gentian violet is not generally recognised as safe for use in animal feed due to its potential toxicity, and possible risks of cancer.

The directive also noted that antibiotic resistance in bacteria that cause disease in humans is an issue of major global concern.

It disclosed that though the principal cause of antibiotic resistance is the misuse of antibiotics in human medicine, the antibiotic- resistant bacteria originating in animals are contributing factors, with some types of resistance in some species of bacteria.

In view of the foregoing, the agency banned the use of all classes of antibiotics and gentian violet as mould inhibitors in animal feed.

Fungal infections are a common problem in livestock. It is usually due to consumption of animal feed that is infested with mould, a type of fungi.

The control method for these problems is to inhibit the growth of the fungal species in feed (animal food) by the use of fungal inhibitors that are available commercially.

The use of fungal inhibitors and proper storage conditions provided are effective ways of controlling the growth of fungi in feed and feeding stuff.