Antibiotic use remains unchanged in UK pig industry – AHDB

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According to data collected using the electronic medicine book (eMB), antibiotic use in 2019 held at 110 mg/PCU. The data represent 95 percent of pigs slaughtered in the UK and equals usage in 2018, having fallen 60 percent in the three years prior.

Significantly, the use of highest priority critically important antibiotics (HP-CIAs) has seen a further decrease, down from 0.06 mg/PCU in 2018 to at 0.04 mg/PCU last year. The use of Colistin represents only 0.002 mg/PCU, down from 0.004 mg/PCU.

AHDB’s acting Head of Animal Health & Welfare, Mandy Nevel, said: “The latest antibiotic usage data demonstrate the sustained efforts that pig producers and their vets are making to use antibiotics responsibly, despite challenges from disease.

“The holding pattern we are seeing at the moment is almost certainly due to a spike of swine dysentery cases in 2019. Swine dysentery is a bacterial disease and, while there are a number of actions that can prevent disease spread, treatment with antibiotics is sometimes both responsible and necessary to safeguard animal health and welfare.

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