Benchmarking Project Expected to Shed Light on Antibiotic Use on Saskatchewan Hog Farms

Aug 01, 2022

A three-year benchmarking project being conducted by the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board will shed new light on the frequency and application of antimicrobial drugs on the province's swine farms.

In response to concerns related to antimicrobial resistance associated with antimicrobial use in food producing animals, the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, in partnership with the Agriculture Development Fund, is conducting an antimicrobial use benchmarking project that will look at antibiotic use on Saskatchewan hog farms.Ravneet Kaur, the Manager of Producer Services and on-farm food safety programs with Sask Pork, says producers and veterinarians need credible tools to collect, analyze and compare antimicrobial uses in all stages of production to help them make more informed decisions regarding the prudent and effective use of these drugs.

Clip-Ravneet Kaur-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:

This project will examine types and quantities of antimicrobials purchased by the farms, which includes prescriptions, receipts, farm records etcetera for a certain number of Saskatchewan based farms over a period of three years.

Participation by both producers and veterinarians is voluntary but their participation is essential for the success of this project.So basically, the main objectives are evaluating current antibiotic usage on Saskatchewan swine farms, also comparing usage over time with other producers in Saskatchewan as well as across Canada and creating awareness and facilitating conversations among producers, veterinarians and others in the industry to identify and evaluate their current management practices.

The other main point is that the suboptimal use of antimicrobial drugs is expensive for producers.So, that will further demonstrate the industry's prudent and judicious use of antimicrobial drugs and it's important in terms of countering current public perception as well, especially for indiscriminate antimicrobial use in food animals.

Kaur says information generated through study will help establish provincial guidelines for farm level antimicrobial use, create awareness and provide platforms for future discussions.

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