Scottish pig industry introduces new antibiotic measures

The Scottish pig industry has introduced new measures to ensure it stays at the frontline of best practice in the use of antibiotics. 

The controls now include a requirement for pig farmers to record any antibiotics used in an electronic medicines book, which enables antibiotic use on both individual farms and across the industry to be monitored and managed. Tighter controls have also been introduced on the use of products in the Critically Important Antibiotic category.

“Scottish commercial pig farmers are very aware of the need for antibiotics to be used in a careful, targeted way,” said Allan Ward, QMS Pig Specialist.

“This is in the interests of an animal’s health and welfare and also makes good business sense as antibiotics can be a significant cost.

“Moves to further improve the targeting of antibiotic use, combined with alternative management techniques, are a win-win all round.”

He added: “The requirement for pig producers to maintain a medicine book on-farm has long been in place but the standards now require any antibiotic use to be carefully logged in an electronic format.

“QMS assured pig farmers are required to regularly submit their antibiotic use data, allowing our industry’s overall use to be carefully monitored – a further significant step forward.”

The use of antibiotics in the veterinary and medical sectors has been under considerable scrutiny due to concerns over antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, these additional measures are now in place to ensure the Scottish pig industry is well-placed to address those concerns.

The vast majority of Scotland’s commercial pig farmers are members of the quality assurance scheme run by Quality Meat Scotland which underpins the Specially Selected Pork brand.

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