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All Who Use Antimicrobials Have a Role to Play in Good Stewardship

30 October 2015
Manitoba Pork Council


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CANADA - A Saskatchewan based veterinary epidemiologist says everybody who uses antimicrobials has a role to play in good stewardship of these compounds, writes Bruce Cochrane.

By the end of 2016 U.S. pork producers will be required to discontinue the use for growth promotion of antibiotics used in human medicine and the Canadian pharmaceutical industry has moved to voluntarily end antibiotic use for growth promotion over those same time lines.

"Imagine Raising Pigs in a World Without Antibiotics" was among the topics discussed this week as part of Manitoba Pork's 2015 Fall Producer Meetings.

Dr. Leigh Rosengren, a veterinary epidemiologist with Rosengren Epidemiology Consulting, says in the future any antimicrobials in classes that are considered medically important to human medicine that are administered to livestock through feed and water will require veterinary oversight.

Dr Leigh Rosengren-Rosengren Epidemiology Consulting:

It'll be interesting to see if producers need to adapt.
I think the biggest thing is just to be in constant communication with both your veterinarian and your nutritionist.

Understand what's happening in your feed and in your water, where can that use be minimized, where can it be substituted with a category 4 antimicrobial which is considered of low importance to human medicine and, in the instances where that use is still medically necessary, make sure that you've got the veterinary prescription or feed directive in place.

The reliance on antimicrobials is always reduced through good husbandry and management, so increased reliance on vaccines, improved biosecurity, good hygiene in the barn, appropriate stocking densities, all of those things lead to healthier pigs and healthier pigs reduce your reliance on antimicrobials but those are really one off solutions on the farm with your veterinarian.

Dr. Rosengren says producers need to be aware of this one health issue, that everybody who uses antimicrobials has a role to play in good stewardship, that what ever drugs are used on the farm need to be done in conjunction with their veterinarian and they need to be sure that use is medically necessary.

ThePigSite News Desk

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