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How to preserve antibiotics


Dr Andrew Tucker discussed how to preserve antibiotics at the CS Vet information day in October. He said that antibiotics have been used without humans knowing it since ancient times whether in the form of mouldy bread, plants, milk soured with frog bile or warm soil, all of which contained bacteria or moulds with antibacterial properties. 

It was only after Lister in the late 1800’s and Flemming in the early 1900’s started to actively investigate these phenomena, that “antibiotic” became a word and concept that we know today.

Antibiotics are a precious resource that must be preserved, Dr Tucker said. “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. Each year in the US, at least 2 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection, and at least 23,000 people die.

“It should be the responsibility of the farmer, veterinarian and those working in our industry to actively search for alternatives to antibiotics and implement all practical measures of reducing the use thereof. 

“Maintaining excellent biosecurity, responsibly sourcing gilts, gilt exposure, environmental control, phase feeding and vaccination are just some of the things that can be done to decrease the dependency on antibiotics,” he said.
CS Vet has acquired permission to run on farm trials of new products in a high health, commercial piggery with 450 pigs per batch. “We hope to report back next year with possible alternatives to support decreasing the use of antibiotics in the piggery.”

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