Online medicine book contributes towards antibiotic data

Pig producers have made “outstanding” progress in recording use of antibiotics, the National Pig Association (NPA) has revealed. 

According to the organisation, antibiotic data for over 1.2 million pigs have contributed towards the industry’s new online medicine book.

This represents almost a third of the national growing and finishing herd and, according to NPA’s Dr Georgina Crayford shows solid progress in the sector’s commitment to record, benchmark and control its use of antibiotics.

“The levy-funded online electronic medicine book is the most important strand of the Stewardship Programme,” said Crayford, who leads the NPA’s Pig Industry Antibiotic Stewardship Programme. “It will allow the industry to capture and collate accurate antibiotic-use data, and this will be followed by benchmarking of each farm’s antibiotic use against other farms of a similar type.”

The NPA said it shared the public’s concern about the use of antibiotics in animals as well as humans, and acknowledged some risk of antibiotic resistance developing in bacteria and this resistance spreading to humans.

To make the use of antibiotic usage transparent, the NPA is urging all pig producers to log antibiotic data to the electronic medicine book, developed by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) Pork division, in association with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. It was launched on 20 April with the support of levy boards from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

“Recognising and addressing society’s concerns about antimicrobial resistance is one of the most important challenges the pig industry has ever faced and collecting accurate data on current use is pivotal to the industry Stewardship Programme,” added Crayford.

A guide to using the electronic medicine book can be found here: http://pork.ahdb.org.uk/media/271609/b9931-emb-quick-guide.pdf

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