Proposed Ban on Antibiotics in Feed Opposed

by 5m Editor
16 June 2011, at 9:42am

US - The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is expressing its opposition to a proposed bill that would ban the use of antibiotics as growth promotants in livestock, writes Bruce Cochrane.

A bill being considered by the US congress proposes a ban on the use of antibiotics in livestock feed for the purpose of nutritional efficiency, or growth promotion.

Dr Howard Hill, a veterinarian with Iowa Select Farms and an NPPC director, says the Council is opposed to congress limiting the use of antibiotics by pork producers for any of the four uses, treatment, prevention and control of disease and for nutritional efficiency.

Dr Howard Hill – National Pork Producers Council

What happened in Denmark when they outlawed the use of antibiotics in feed they actually saw an increase in the overall use of antibiotics in the swine industry, in the livestock industry because now the producers were not controlling disease and they were having to treat pigs.

The best example is ileitis, a disease that causes severe diarrhoea in grow-finishing pigs, it can cause morbidity, production loss and it can result in higher mortality.

When they were not able to control that disease with antibiotics in the nursery and early finishing they saw a big increase in the incidence of that disease and had to use more antibiotics than they were using before so we don't think that just outlawing antibiotics in the feed is the right way to go.

Dr Hill suggests the most important thing is to ensure producers are using antibiotics in the proper amount, at the proper time and are observing the withdrawals that the FDA has prescribed.

He is confident pork producers are using antibiotics judiciously, working with their veterinarians and using scientific data and diagnostics to determine when to use antibiotics, what antibiotics to use and how much to use.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on ileitis by clicking here.