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Antibiotics are masking disease challenges in pig farms, report claims
Antibitoic use has led to a lack of focus towards disease prevention.

Usage must be reduced to avoid  endemic disease
 
Research by Dr Georgia Crayford, senior policy advisor at the National Pig Association (NPA), has concluded that pig farms must reduce the need for antibiotics if we are to avoid drug-resistant diseases.

Speaking at the Nuffield Conference in Glasgow last month, Crayford explained how antibiotic use has led to a multitude of disease challenges being masked. Crayford concluded: “This has resulted in a lack of focus and resource being directed towards effective disease prevention.”

Crayford went on to explain how the focus should not be “zero use of antibiotics in pig production,” but instead to, “reduce the need”.

Behaviour change in pig farmers, specifically in improved infection prevention through industry-led initiatives, was highlighted as a method for tackling the issue.

 “Framing the problem in a different, more personal way can help farmers to understand why tackling antibiotic resistance should be made a priority,” stated Crayford.

Conclusions warned that failure to address overuse of antibiotics may result in endemic disease to which antibiotic treatment is no longer a successful option. Crayford urged pig farmers to consider the true cost of antibiotic medication.

Writing on its website, The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board Pork (ADHB) commented that the topic has never been more important than it is today.

The full presentation of the research can be viewed here.

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”