Pig industry praised for reducing antibiotic usage

Pig industry praised for reducing antibiotic usage

The National Pig Association (NPA) has updated its 2016 Antibiotic Stewardship Programme to showcase the progress made by the pig sector in reducing and refining antibiotic use.

The NPA has reported the significant reductions in the pig sector’s usage over the past two years and the extent to which it has embraced data recording.

NPA senior policy advisor, Georgina Crayford.

It demonstrates how the entire industry – from producers and its representative bodies, to vets and feed – is working with support from the Government to address the antibiotic challenge.

The updated Pig Industry Antibiotic Stewardship Programme report shows that:

• Overall antibiotic usage in pigs has halved in just two years between 2015 and 2017. The sector is on track to meet its target of reducing usage to 99mg/PCU by 2020.

• Antibiotic data submitted to the electronic Medicines Book (eMB) covered 87% of pigs slaughtered in the UK in 2017.

• Red Tractor standards have been updated to help drive responsible use of anti-biotics in pig production.

• Farmers and vets are working together to improve biosecurity and disease control on farms to raise the overall health status of the national pig herd.

The feed industry is also supporting the drive, working with producers to ensure optimum nutrition delivers benefits to pig health at the different stages of production.

NPA senior policy advisor, Georgina Crayford, said: “We first published the Antibiotic Stewardship Programme in May 2016 to coincide with the findings of Lord Jim O’Neill’s global review of AMR.

“It outlined the pig industry’s commitment to use antibiotics more responsibly and the progress made in the two years since has been nothing short of staggering.

“That is testament to the way all parts of the industry have come together to, first accept, then rise to the challenge – this is a truly collaborative effort.”

The report will be sent to MPs who have previously expressed an interest in the subject and will also be made available online for other interested stakeholders.

The updated Pig Industry Stewardship Programme can be viewed here.

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