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UK: Guide to antibiotic usage on pig farms

A review containing guidance to help pig producers cut their use of antimicrobials has been published in the United Kingdom.

In a press release, shared by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), it is explained that the guidance review has been produced jointly by the Pig Health and Welfare Council Antimicrobial Sub-group and the Pig Veterinary Society.

Supporting responsible use of antibiotics
Sub-group chairman John FitzGerald said: "The PHWC supports the responsible use of antibiotics. This means minimising the need to use antibiotics by managing the farm to reduce the risk of disease challenge and using them properly to maintain animal health and welfare.

"We are delighted to launch this guidance which will help vets and farmers to review their antibiotic use regularly and to consider ways in which this could be optimised without harming the pigs."

Already applying best practice guidelines
PVS representative on the Sub-Group Grace Webster said "We acknowledge that many vets and farmers are already applying these best practice guidelines in their review of antibiotic usage. This is an integral part of their ongoing efforts to use antibiotics 'as little as possible and as much as necessary' to safeguard the health and welfare of the pigs under their care and encourage all of our members to consider whether they can improve their current approach."

The sub-group's members include a wide range of organisations:
• Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC)
•  AHDB – Pigs
• Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
• British Pig Association (BPA)
• Forfarmers
• National Office of Animal Health (NOAH)
• National Farmers' Union (NFU)
• National Pig Association (NPA)
• Pig Veterinary Society (PVS)
• Quality Meat Scotland (QMS)
• Red Tractor Assurance (RTA)
• Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)
• Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum (UPBF)
• Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD)
• Two Independent Pig Farmers

Where is the rest of Europe heading with its reduction of antibiotics? Learn more at our interactive map on the reduction of antibiotics.

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