23rd September 2016

Scottish Pig Industry Highlights Commitment to Antibiotic Best Practice

The Scottish pig industry has taken further steps to ensure it stays at the frontline of best practice in the careful, targeted use of antibiotics.

The use of antibiotics in the veterinary and medical sectors has been under considerable scrutiny due to concerns over antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, additional measures are now in place to ensure the Scottish pig industry is well-placed to address these concerns.

The Scottish pig industry has a strong track record on embracing innovation and technology to improve pig health and welfare and the latest steps will reinforce measures already in place to ensure antibiotic use is carefully targeted and recorded.

The vast majority of Scotland’s commercial pig farmers are members of the quality assurance scheme run by Quality Meat Scotland which underpins the Specially Selected Pork brand.

The standards underpinning this scheme now include a requirement for pig farmers to record any antibiotics used in an electronic medicines book, which enables antibiotic use on both individual farms and across the industry to be monitored and managed. Tighter controls have also been introduced on the use of products in the Critically Important Antibiotic category.

“Scottish commercial pig farmers are very aware of the need for antibiotics to be used in a careful, targeted way,” said Allan Ward, QMS Pig Specialist.

“This is in the interests of an animal’s health and welfare and also makes good business sense as antibiotics can be a significant cost.

“Moves to further improve the targeting of antibiotic use, combined with alternative management techniques, are a win-win all round.”

Mr Ward added: “The requirement for pig producers to maintain a medicine book on-farm has long been in place but the standards now require any antibiotic use to be carefully logged in an electronic format.

“QMS assured pig farmers are required to regularly submit their antibiotic use data, allowing our industry’s overall use to be carefully monitored – a further significant step forward.”

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