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Setting Realistic Antibiotic Usage Targets in the UK

23 November 2016

British Pig Executive

UK - AHDB Pork is urging UK pig producers to send in their 2015 on-farm antibiotic usage data, in any shape or form, before the end of the year, to help the industry set realistic reduction targets this spring.

Martin Smith AHDB Pork veterinary team manager said: “These reduction targets, which will run for 10 years from 2018, will add to mounting Government pressure on producers.

“The industry will be setting these targets in less than six months and they could have a big impact on production. At the moment, we’re in the dark about usage as we only know total antibiotic sales data for pigs and poultry combined.

“This obviously doesn’t give us an accurate picture of pig-specific use and that’s why we need the help of each and every pig farmer.

“It’s vital that producers help us to help themselves and they can do this by sending in their data so it can be used to benchmark and help set informed, realistic and achievable targets. I can’t stress enough how important it is that we pull together and take a united approach.”

All producers need to do is send their antibiotic usage data, in any form, to their KE manager, or the pig hub email address, and the team will upload the data anonymously to the electronic medicines book (eMB-Pigs).

Martin said AHDB Pork and the VMD had developed the eMB-Pigs website to enable producers to provide aggregated and anonymous records of on-farm antibiotic usage.

“To date, uptake from producers has been good but we really need to get at least 70 per cent of total pig production figures. That’s why we’re happy that producers send us their data and we’ll upload it anonymously to the system.”

Find out more about eMB-Pigs here: http://pork.ahdb.org.uk/health-welfare/health/antimicrobial-usage/e-medicine-book-emb-pigs/

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