25 Aug 2017
On 16 June 2015 a contingent from the UK visited Holland on a fact-finding mission to determine what approaches to antimicrobial stewardship and antibiotic use, in use in the Netherlands, would be of benefit to the UK industry, as well as the lessons learnt from their experiences. The group comprised representatives from the National Pig Association (NPA), Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), AHDB Pork, veterinary practices and producers with a particular interest in antimicrobial stewardship.The trip was organised by the Pig Health and Welfare Council.
The day was structured in two parts, with a morning of presentations followed by a site visit to a Dutch pig farm, to gain an insight into the experiences in the field. The presentations were given by Elzo Kannekens (Dutch
governmental Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer), Hetty van Beers (Director of the Dutch Veterinary Medicine Authority), John Vonk (veterinary practitioner and president of the Swine Practitioners Group (VGV) of the Royal
Dutch Veterinary Society and Rutgar Jansen (veterinarian at ForFarmers). The talks covered the Dutch approach to managing antimicrobials on farms as well as the social and political pressures that have led to the current measures
in place. Each of the discussions focused on a different perspective from industry and provided a detailed impression of how the Dutch have approached antimicrobial stewardship.
The afternoon focused on a more practical insight into how a Dutch pig farm operates under the current regulations and what measures have been adopted. It was also an opportunity for the UK contingent to see what key management practices, technology or innovations were being adopted in the face of restrictions on antimicrobial usage. This is the report that followed.