Deputy chief vet praises NPA antibiotic stance
17th Oct 2016 / By Alistair Driver
The Government’s deputy chief vet has praised the NPA for its ‘proactive’ response to the antibiotics issue.
In an interview with Pig World, Simon Hall described the UK pig industry is an ‘exemplar’ for other industries at home and abroad.
He said: “In the last year or so, the response of the pig industry has been quite impressive, and it certainly shows every indication of taking the issue seriously and understanding the importance of it.
“The National Pig Association, for example, showed a very responsible, proactive attitude in producing its Antibiotic Stewardship Programme in May. And the new e-Medicines (eMB-Pigs) book seems to be taking off very well.
“In taking all the appropriate measures to reduce antimicrobial usage, the pig industry is an exemplar for other industries at home and round the world.”
The full interview can be read here
More details on NPA's Antibiotic Stewardship Programme can be seen here
Mr Hall urged pig farmers who had not yet embraced eMB-Pigs to record their antibiotic usage to do so soon.
"Providing Government with access to aggregated anonymised information will enable us to agree much more realistic, practical targets for improvement to be made by the industry," he said.
He identified the preventative use of antibiotics, ‘without a defined purpose but simply as a precaution’, as the greatest concern and a key area where improvements can be made.
“Even when there is a defined problem, we need to make sure the right medication is being used alongside other control measures such as good hygiene and vaccination. It is a complex issue, which is why the NPA’s antibiotic stewardship programme which tackles all these problems is so good.”
He was adamant the pig industry will be capable of addressing the ‘reasonable’ sector targets for reducing antibiotic usage the Government is discussing with industry and hopes to agree by mid-2017, insisting doing so will be a ‘win-win for all farmers’.
Mr Hall encouraged the pig industry to continue making the case for support from Government to achieve its targets, stressing it was in ‘listening mode’.
“We have obviously seen the NPA’s call for capital grants for new buildings – they need to put that forward as part of the industry’s overall ask for the new post-Brexit world. But whether or not it will be successful will depend on many issues beyond veterinary ones,” he said.