Most pork producers aware of antibiotic use changes
A majority of pork producers are aware of updated rules for antibiotic use in food animals that fully take effect next year, according to a survey conducted by the National Pork Board.
In the survey, 82% said they were aware of upcoming regulatory changes affecting on-farm antibiotic use. Just over 70% said they already had a defined recordkeeping protocol in place, and that percentage grew to 83% among pork operations marketing more than 80,000 hogs annually.
“This level of awareness underscores the real and substantive changes occurring today on how pig farmers use antibiotics on the farm,” said National Pork Board President Derrick Sleezer, Cherokee, Iowa. “The high level of awareness of the changing regulation is encouraging but not surprising,” he said, because the US pork industry has worked hard to educate pork producers about the new US Food and Drug Administration rules affecting antibiotic use in animals.
Sleezer was referring to the updated veterinary feed directive (VFD) rule that increases veterinary oversight of antibiotic use in food animals. As of Jan. 1, 2017, all antibiotics considered to be medically important in human medicine will require a VFD if fed to food animals, and those administered in water will require a veterinary prescription.
Medically important antibiotics will no longer be used to enhance performance. VFDs must be provided within the context of a veterinary-client-patient relationship. Veterinarians writing VFDs must keep their original copies, and pork producers and distributors must keep copies of each VFD on file for 2 years.
The new rules took effect in October 2015 for antibiotic medications that were already VFD drugs. For swine, this affected in-feed tilmicosin, florfenicol and avilamycin, and water-administered tylosin.