Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Responsible and Prudent Use of Antibiotics on Irish Pig Farms

The antibiotic resistance scandal in Britain is unraveling in front of our very eyes.

A very long and very frank article in the Pig Site from an Irish government veterinarian.

This is government level whistle-blowing, on themselves to an extent.  But that is pretty smart - getting ahead of the pack. They have worked out this scandal is not going away

Britain's dangerous state veterinary establishment will be grizzling and pleading for understanding shortly, once they find out that blaming someone else, preferably innocent, is not going to  work.

Anyway some of the items that took my eye:

"The level of antibiotic usage on a small percentage of pig farms is high."

"The prevalence of AMR organisms in pig herds is not as easy to quantify as the testing for antibiotic residues in carcasses."

"Does Ireland as a country have data regarding the use of antibiotics in food animals, and moreover on a species basis? The truth is we do not have such definitive data."

"The primary responsibility for prudent use of antibiotics in the pig industry lies with the small number of prescribers (vets) and the end users."

And this is the really important statement leading to very serious corruption right the way to the very top in both Britain (and presumably Ireland.)

"Many pig farms use the services of two or more veterinarians. Which vet prescribes and supplies antibiotics? Does the farmer purchase the bulk of the antibiotics from a vet who is not the primary vet to the pig unit, purely on cost grounds?

Legally, a vet shall not prescribe the use of a medicine for animals unless he or she has visited the farm sufficiently often and recently enough to have an accurate picture of the current health, welfare and disease status of the pigs on that premises.

Do pig herd owners fully understand and appreciate the importance of this statement?"

I do.

Anyway, be sure to read the whole of the article, here. It is the first of a gale of fresh air about to envelop British livestock farming, too.

Responsible and Prudent Use of Antibiotics on Irish Pig Farms

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Denis Healy, a veterinary inspector with the Irish agriculture department, explained the concept of antibiotic resistance and what pig farmers and their vets need to do to minimise risks to the Teagasc Pig Farmers Conference in October 2013...