NPA chair’s efforts to cut antibiotic usage featured on One Show

The steps NPA chairman Richard Lister is taking to cut antibiotic usage on his farm were showcased to millions of BBC viewers on the One Show last night.

Mr Lister, who farms in North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, was introduced at the start of a five-minute feature as ‘one farmer who is leading the fight against superbugs’.

The slot focused on his efforts to address persistent disease problems in his pig herd, notably Glässers Disease, with autogenous vaccines, which are made from cultures isolated at the site of infection to target the specific problem.

You can view the feature here (approx 33 mins).

Mr Lister told presenter Andy Kershaw: “The particular problem on the farm was Glässers Disease, a bacterial infection that tends to give a respiratory problem.

“So what we looked to do was try and identify that strain and we developed a vaccine that was bespoke to this farm.”

He said the new approach was working economically and in terms of herd health, having seen a 30 per cent drop in mortality rate.

“It has been very successful for us. Overall, pigs are just far healthier with less treatments. It has been a win-win all round,” Mr Lister said.

Vet Duncan Berkshire was filmed administering the vaccine. He outlined how this sort of ‘bespoke and specific’ solution addresses the particular disease problem in a more targeted manner than antibiotics, including ‘leaving the friendly bacteria alone’.

 

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.