Through the Targets Task Force, the UK pig sector set a target of reaching 99 mg/kg use by 2020; this is a reduction of 62% on the base year of 2015, where usage was originally estimated at 263.5 mg/kg.
National data collected from the UK’s major feed compounders indicate that at the beginning of 2014, 37% of all feed for young pigs contained a prescribed antibiotic; this had more than halved to 18% by the end of 2016
On-farm antibiotic usage data from 2015 onwards started to be uploaded onto the industry’s centralised database known as eMB-Pigs (run by AHDB).
In 2016, overall usage in the pig sector fell 34% in one year, to 183 mg/kg. Use of colistin, a critically important antibiotic, fell by more than 70% in pigs from an already low level.
In 2017, records for 90% of the pigs going for slaughter had been added to the eMB, and showed usage had fallen again – this time by 28% to 131 mg/kg. This means use in the pig sector has halved in two years.
In 2017, use of HP-CIAs as a whole was 0.1 mg/kg in the UK pig sector. Fluoroquinolone use was 0.07 mg/kg; 3rd/4th generation cephalosporin use was 0.01 mg/kg; and colistin use was 0.01 mg/kg.
In May 2019, the pig sector announced its 2018 usage figures, which took overall use down to 110 mg/kg, a 60% reduction in use.
The 2018 usage data confirmed that the use of critically important antibiotics (CIAs) had also seen a decrease, as their use was recorded at 0.06 mg/kg of which, colistin represented only 0.004 mg/kg, which is around 2.5kg in total.