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UK pig industry halves antibiotic usage over two years

Latest industry figures show the UK pig industry reduced its antibiotic usage by 28 per cent in 2017, in addition to the 34 per cent cuts it made in 2015 and 2016.


Hannah   Park

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Hannah   Park
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This comes after industry targets were set up to reduce antibiotics in the pig industry by more than 60 per cent between 2015 and 2020.

 

The latest figures, taken from the electronic medicine book representing 87 per cent of pigs slaughtered in the UK, showed antibiotic usage on pig farms has dropped from 183 mg/PCU to 131 mg/PCU in the last 12 months.

 

The book is available to all producers in the UK and provides a method of recording on-farm antibiotic use.

 

Recording quarterly antibiotic usage using this service became a Red Tractor Assurance requirement for pig producers in October 2017.

Christine Middlemiss, the UK Chief Veterinary Officer, said: “The reduction in antibiotic usage achieved by the UK pig industry over the last two years is excellent.

 

“This has been achieved by the sector working together and following a clear agreed plan of action, which is focused on responsible reductions alongside the prevention and management of disease.

 

“This approach is essential for the sustainability of British agriculture and will help to maintain the effectiveness of antibiotics in the future.”

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