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VARSS report - more good news for the pig industry

23rd Nov 2016 / By Alistair Driver

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has corrected a mistake in the recent VARSS report - and it brings more good news for the pig industry. 

The original report, published on November 17, included a figure suggesting 2.7 per cent of E. coli from pigs sampled under the EU Harmonised Monitoring in 2015 were resistant to fluoroquinolones.

The VMD has now sent a note out acknowledging it has identified an inaccuracy in the data and the the figure is in fact 1 per of of E. coli. It has amended and re-issued the report with an explanation.

The amendment will be welcomed within the pig industry reinforces the point that, while antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an issue the entire supply chain is working to address, resistance to key drugs generally remains low.

Antibiotic sales down

The NPA welcomed last week's report and its headline figure of an overall 9 per cent reduction, to 404 tonnes, in sales of antibiotics sold for use in animals, including companion animals, compared with 2014.

Sales of products licensed for both pigs and poultry were down 23 tonnes to 212 tonnes, a 10 per cent drop.

Sales of products licensed for pigs only were down an even more impressive 24 per cent, a 16 tonne reduction to 50 tonnes, the biggest fall across all the sectors.