ANALYSIS - Since 2009, farmers in the Netherlands have been working to lower their use of antibiotics in livestock production.
The work has so far been successful, with usage lowered by 58 per cent thanks to a combination of increased monitoring and the implementation of mandatory animal health plans and herd inspections.
“This approach led to a significant reduction in the number of resistant bacteria in our livestock population,” said Minister for Agriculture Martijn van Dam, speaking to a closed meeting in Amsterdam, about the 'One Health' approach .
Perhaps of most interest to producers, though, is the fact that reduction did not affect profits. In fact, according to Mr Van Dam, Dutch farmers have been able to maintain both production levels and profit margins. Overall, mortality has not increased since that time either.
In other news, AHDB Pork reported that EU exports of all pig meat products were up by more than a quarter in the first three months of 2016, compared with a year earlier.
This increase is due to growing demand from Asian markets, including China, Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines. South Korea was the only major market to take significantly less product.
In disease news, an outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) has been reported on a batch-farrow sow barn in Manitoba, Canada.
According to Farmscape, this is the first outbreak in western Canada in over a year and a half and it also comes just weeks after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency began enforcing regulations calling on Canadian swine transports returning from US farms to be cleaned in the US.