U.S. Pork Industry Well Positioned for Changes in On-Farm Antibiotic Use

Jul 21, 2015

By Bruce Cochrane

The Director of Producer and Public Health with the National Pork Board says the U.S. the pork industry is well positioned to adjust to pending changes in antibiotic use on the farm.

By the end of 2016 U.S. pork producers will be required to discontinue the use for growth promotion of antibiotics in classes used in human medicine, and antibiotics in classes in human medicine used for therapeutic purposes in the pork industry must be done with veterinary oversight.

Dr. Jennifer Koeman, the Director of Producer and Public Health with the National Pork Board, says this is changing how antibiotics are used on the farm.

Dr. Jennifer Koeman-National Pork Board:
We've, as producers, well positioned for this because we have our "PQA Plus" programming that's historically focused on responsible antibiotic use practices.

We also had the "Take Care" program which was a specific program for producers that provided education and guidance on using antibiotics responsibly.

That's all been incorporated into the PQA Plus in the last revision cycle.

That walks through those good production practices, specifically working with your vet, record keeping, thinking through when and how you use antimicrobials, assessing their use regularly and then working with your vet on all those other herd health strategies.
As we move into this new guidance, we'll continue to emphasize, in our current revision, that relationship with your veterinarian and that record keeping and all those good production practices.
It is changing how we use antibiotics on the farm.

Some of those antibiotics that you used to be able get over the counter are now going to require a prescription to use in water or a veterinary feed directive, which is like a veterinary order, somewhat like a prescription to use in feed.

You'll need that relationship in order to access these antimicrobials.

Of course your veterinarian, antibiotics are only a tool in our toolbox for herd health strategies, so they can help you sit down and work through your entire herd health strategy which is always important to do on a regular basis.

Dr. Koeman encourages anyone with questions to visit the resources section of the Pork Checkoff website at pork.org.

Source: Farmscape

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