Producers, selected on a random basis, are being asked this month to respond to a questionnaire about antibiotic use in pigs as part of a national study, funded by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, which has already sought views from the UK’s veterinary surgeons.
Organised by researchers at Liverpool University and Richard Pearson, a partner at the George Veterinary Group in Wiltshire, who specialises in pig work, the questionnaire is designed to gather “in-depth insight and understanding into the influences behind antibiotic use”. This is deemed to be essential in maintaining the effectiveness of antibiotics for use in pigs as well as other animals, and humans.
“We have already completed focus groups and interviews with pig farmers on their opinions on antibiotic use in pigs and the wider issues surrounding this,” lead researcher, Lucy Coyne, told Pig World.
“We had a fantastic response and engagement from the pig industry at the interview and focus group stage and have already received replies from the first copies of the questionnaires which have been sent out, which is also excellent.”
The questionnaire consists of four sections. Section A asks for information about the producer and his/her farm/pig production company; section B seeks opinions on antibiotic use in pigs; section C seeks opinions on pig disease and the role that antibiotics play in combating and managing disease, and section D discusses the responsibility of antibiotic use.
All responses will be completely confidential with the information gathered being maintained and analysed at the University of Liverpool. Participation in the study is “entirely voluntary”.
Once the study is completed, and analysed, the findings will be made available to the industry via BPEX and the NPA.