Antibacterial is extensively used in poultry to enhance productivity. Inappropriate use could yield unsafe edible poultry products. The study aimed to investigate the pattern of antibacterial use in commercial layer poultry farms in Gombe metropolis. Semi-structured questionnaire was designed and validated. The questionnaire was administered to 38 layer poultry farms to obtain information on poultry farm practices. Data was analysed by inferential statistics using SPSS (Version 20). Of the 38 administered questionnaires, 33 (86.8%) were returned and analysed. Most farms had over 500 birds (69.7%, 23/33) and Isa Brown was the most predominant strain (x2= 63.11, df=3, p< 0.05). Most farms conduct routine vaccination (93.9%, p<0.05) and use mixed formulations (78.6%, p<0.05) for prophylaxis (87.9%, p<0.05). Seven of the nine used formulations (77.8%, p<0.05) contain unapproved drugs. Farmers were aware of withdrawal period (84.8%) and the consequences of residues (60.6%) but most (75.8%) do not observe withdrawal period. The inappropriate antibacterial use in layer poultry in Gombe was high and oxytetracycline was the most predominant. Such practice could yield unsafe table eggs with dire health consequences.
Key words: Antibacterial, residues, public health risks, layer poultry farms, table eggs.
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