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Weekly Overview: Antibiotic Resistance and Other Global Consumer Concerns

04 August 2014

GLOBAL - Pressure to reduce antibiotic use further in animal production has been ramped up in the last week as the first UK pig has been found with livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA). In a US study, adverse media reports on animal welfare have been linked to reduced meat purchases, and consumers say their main source of information on pig welfare is animal rights groups.

In the United Kingdom concern is mounting over the threat of veterinary medicine residues - including antibiotics - in imported foods, particularly because the inspection process to root out products with high residue levels and illegal veterinary products is due to end in the coming year.

Also in the UK, the Green Party is calling on members and supporters to sign the petition produced by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, calling for a ban on the routine use of antibiotics in farmed animals.

Veterinarians in Northern Ireland have reported what they believe to be the first case of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in a pig in the UK.

Many consumers in the United States gain all their knowledge of pig welfare from animal rights organisations, without any input from farmers or producers, according to a new survey by Purdue University.

Media reports or allegations of animal abuse were shown in the study to reduce subsequent meat purchases.

England's agriculture ministry has published a report revealing that some improvements have been made in climate change impact by the agricultural sector in terms of soil nitrogen balance and artificial fertiliser use over the last decade while pig fattening herd feed conversion has deteriorated over that period.

New cases of African swine fever have been reported in Russia (in wild boar and domestic pigs in a village herd) and in Poland in wild boar near the border with Belarus.

And finally, on porcine epidemic diarrhoea, the number of US pig farms which have tested positive for the PED virus stands at 7,893 in the most recent report. California has become the 16th US state to report cases of Porcine Deltacoronavirus (PDCoV). PED continues to rumble on in Japan, with one prefecture alone reporting in the last week 42,000 pig deaths from the disease so far.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

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