US pig farmers welcome White House pledge on antibiotics research

Pork industry leaders in the US have “embraced” a White House action plan which includes doubling the amount of research funding committed to combatting antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The US government’s aim is to direct more than the equivalent of £800 million towards finding “smarter” and more “judicious” ways of using antibiotics, with the ultimate goal of slowing the emergence of resistant bacteria.

“America’s pig farmers welcome this new federal initiative and are committed to continuous improvement to ensure responsible antibiotic use on the farm,” said National Pork Board CEO, Chris Hodges, adding that the industry would go “above and beyond simply complying with federal guidance”.

Speaking on behalf of Pork Checkoff, the farmer-backed research and development body, whose programmes include pig health, pork safety and sustainability, Mr Hodges said the whole industry applauded the new government plan. 

He also commented that “if the additional funding commitment is realised” Pork Checkoff could expand its existing research to address this “growing consumer issue”.

“Pork Checkoff has deployed millions of producer dollars to fund antimicrobial research for well over a decade,” he said, adding that any additional dollars, earmarked for research, could serve to address the risk posed to animal and human health by antibiotic resistant bacteria.

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