The veterinary drug is vital for healthy and quality food-animal production. Their use in poultry production is basically for treatment, prophylaxis and growth promotion. However, cases of misuse of these drugs by the poultry farmers have been reported. This is further worsened by extra-label use and non-observance of withdrawal period, leading to deposition of drug residues in poultry products, thus posing a public health concern. This paper assessed the poultry farmers’ knowledge, attitude and practice of observing withdrawal period of veterinary drugs. Three hundred and eighty-five (385) questionnaires were administered and 380 (98.7%) response rate was recorded. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences 23 and presented in frequency tables. Chi-square was used to determine the relationship between the variables. 57.1% of the poultry farmers in Zaria though well-educated had never checked withdrawal period while 53.2% of the farmers have ever sold their chicken/eggs while on medication. 67.5% out of the 42.9% of farmers that checked the withdrawal period on the packaging materials indicated 14 days as withdrawal period. There existed a strong relationship between the socio-demographic characteristics and other variables (p<0.05). The farmers managed the encountered poultry diseases using most common drugs; Doxygen® (43.2%) and Tylodox® (40%) for duration ranging from 3 to 7 days depending on disease severity and mortality rate. It is suggested that poultry farmers should follow information written on the packaging materials; strict legislation and extensive awareness on observing withdrawal period of drugs should be implemented by the government and relevant stakeholders.
Key words: Knowledge, withdrawal period, veterinary drugs, poultry, Zaria.
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