Pig antibiotic guidelines updated

The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) has updated its guidelines for the use of antimicrobials in pigs.

Speaking at the Promoting Good Veterinary Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference at Liverpool University, RUMA secretary general John FitzGerald said that the new versions of the Pig Antimicrobial Guidelines stressed the need to manage farms to reduce disease challenge and minimise antibiotic use.

First introduced in 2000, these Guidelines are intended as working documents and have been updated periodically to continually provide best advice. Now in their third editions, there’s a short version that provides quick and easy guiding principles that can be used as a working document by pig farmers, while the longer version is aimed primarily at veterinary surgeons and other advisers to provide more detail.

The guidlines include practical advice for vets and farmers and highlight the Four Golden Rules on Disease Control:
• limit pig to pig contact;
• avoid stress ;
• good hygiene;
• good nutrition.

“The holistic approach to minimising disease set out by the Four Golden Rules helps reduce the need to use antibiotics without adversely affecting animal welfare,” Mr FitzGerald said. “It’s important to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance without reducing the availability of necessary antibiotics.”

Like all RUMA guidelines, the new Pig Guidelines are available free of charge on the RUMA website at: www.ruma.org.uk.

Or the short version can be accessed via the link below.

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