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Persistently high antibiotic users targeted in the UK

Screen Shot 2021-11-23 at 1.03.54 PM

Source: Tony McDougal, Pig Progress, 22 November 2021, photo credit: Henk Riswick/Pig Progress

Persistently high users of antibiotics in the UK pig sector will have to develop and implement an Antibiotic Reduction Plan (ARP).

The Pig Health and Welfare Council (PHWC) has developed a template for producers and vets to use and guidance has been provided to vets on what to consider when putting together the ARP. The British Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has also launched a benchmarking took earlier this summer to identify high users.

Grace Webster, chair of the PHWC Antimicrobial Use subgroup, said the top 5% over a rolling 12 month period were being targeted first but that AHDB also notified producers in the upper 5-10% usage range that they were close to being identified as a PHU as an early warning system.

Webster said the UK’s leading farm assurance scheme Red Tractor, which covers about 95% of pigs produced in the UK, had consulted on whether to add the requirement for PHU’s to complete and implement an ARP and this had been added as a full standard in the latest version of the Pig Standards, effective from this month. Quality Meat Scotland is to review their standards next year.
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