Weekly Overview: Regulatory Changes and Agricultural Support

GLOBAL - A new analysis looks at the scale of the impact of changing regulations in the US on antimicrobial use for animals, which will mean that more than half of the product volume currently used will require veterinary supervision in two years time. All categories of pigs were higher in the recent US census as the industry recovers after last year's PED onslaught, while new outbreaks continue to be reported there as well as in Canada and Japan.
calendar icon 6 January 2015
clock icon 4 minute read

In two years time, regulatory changes will come into effect in the United States that will cover 57 per cent of current antimicrobial sales for animals in the US.

Most medically important antimicrobials used in livestock today will be affected by impending changes to their use in animal health, according to Greg Cima, writing in a US veterinary journal.

Whereas only a small proportion of the types of antimicrobials important for human medicine and sold for use in farm animals currently require a veterinarian’s signature for purchase, only a small volume will be available over the counter in two years time, he writes.

Citing a recent report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), he reports that 97 per cent of the almost 20 million pounds of drugs used to combat infections in humans and in food-producing animals currently are available in the US without veterinary prescription.

In two years time, however, the great majority of the antimicrobial volume, currently administered in feed or water, will also require veterinary oversight. This will apply to 94 per cent or 18.4 million pounds of the current volume.

The latest quarterly 'Hogs and Pigs' report indicates increases compared to a year ago in total pigs, the breeding herd and market hogs as the US pork sector recovers from the worst onslaught of porcine epidemic diarrhoea last winter.

The government in The Netherlands has announced financial support for 13 projects aimed at improving agricultural sustainability, including for better grassland management, local feed production and an expansion of the 'Beter Leven' welfare mark for pigs and poultry.

In Belgium, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is holding a seminar at Agriflanders on risk management in the pork chain and the search for new market models.

The European Union has allocated €410 million (around $510 million), under its bilateral cooperation with Cambodia over the period 2014-2020 to continue its support to the latter country's continued agricultural development.

There has a been a marked increase in the number of confirmed cases of porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) in the US with the arrival of cooler winter weather in November, even spreading to another four farms in Hawaii. There have been five outbreaks in Canada in the last two months, and the disease rumbles on in Japan.

Russia's veterinary watchdog has accused Lithuania of risking the spread of African swine fever by trying to supply pork to the Russian market by falsifying documents, while the disease has broken out at two pig farms in Russia. There are also news reports of ASF in Latvia and in a wild boar in Poland. China has been assisted in the assessment and management of risk of an outbreak at an OIE training session in Beijing in November.

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