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UK pig sector halves antibiotic use in two years
Use of the Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics represented just 0.08 per cent of total antibiotic use in pigs in 2017.
Report highlights collaborative effort to address AMR

The UK pig industry has more than halved its antibiotic use in two years, according to a report published by the National Pig Association (NPA).

Figures published in the latest Pig Industry Antibiotic Stewardship Programme show the sector is on course to meet its target of reducing usage to 99mg/PCU by 2020.

The figures also show that usage of the Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and colistin) represented just 0.08 per cent of total antibiotic use in pigs in 2017.

“The progress made in the two years since has been nothing short of staggering,” said NPA senior policy advisor Georgina Crayford. “That is testament to the way all parts of the industry have come together to, first accept, then rise to the challenge – this is a truly collaborative effort. 
“Everybody understands that there is still much more to do. But after reading this report, it will become clear to everybody just how hard this industry is working to reduce and refine antibiotic use and improve overall pig health.”

The Pig Industry Antibiotic Stewardship Programme illustrates how producers, vets, feed and pharmaceutical companies are working with Government to address the problem of antibiotic resistance. Compiled with members of the Pig Health and Welfare Council, it shows how farmers and vets are working together to improve biosecurity and disease control on farms.

The report is available online for interested stakeholders and will be sent to MPs that have expressed an interest in the subject. 

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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.”