The US Food and Drug Administration is to go ahead with a ban on a livestock antibiotic, despite a last-ditch attempt by poultry veterinarians to delay the embargo.

The FDA is to ban the Baytril drug, made by Bayer, on 12 September because of concerns that using the antibiotic to treat chickens reduces the effectiveness of similar drugs used to treat food poisoning in humans, reported Reuters.

“Despite your assertion to the contrary, FDA has determined, as the final decision makes clear, that there are real adverse human health effects of (Baytril) use in poultry,” Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester Crawford was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The request to delay the ban came from The American Association of Avian Pathologists, the Animal Health Institute and four other groups, who said that the ban came at a time of year when poultry were at the greatest risk of developing respiratory illness.

The groups claimed that the industry “will suffer irreparable harm because their members will not be able to treat chickens and turkeys in a way that is effective to protect the health of the birds and the human beings who will later consumer those birds”, reported Reuters.