Reducing antibiotics in pig farming: Final Report – EPI Agri

26 Aug 2017

The widespread use of antibiotics (also known as antibacterials) in human
and animal medicine increases the level of resistant bacteria. This makes it
more difficult to treat diseases in an efficient way. The guiding principle for
antibiotic use in pig farming is still to “use antibiotics as little as possible, but
as often as necessary”. Everyone who is involved in the pig industry – from
‘farm to fork’ – can help to achieve this goal, by making sustainable improvements
in pig health and welfare.

Innovative technological solutions and research initiatives can be successful
if they reach out to the field and include experts from different disciplines
and backgrounds. It is key to motivate stakeholders such as farmers, advisors
and veterinarians to adopt better biosecurity, management and other
practices that help reduce the need for antibiotic treatments. One way to do
this is by showing that applying new measures can be economically beneficial.
Providing information and improving the education of farmers and veterinarians
can help to change attitudes and create change in the long run.

To lower the use of antibiotics in modern swine rearing systems, the EIP-AGRI Focus Group on
reducing the use of antibiotics in pig farming recommends a number of existing solutions and
future initiatives, in the following three areas:

  • Improving pig health and welfare
  • Finding specific alternatives to antibiotics
  • Changing attitudes and human habits


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