Pig sector work on antimicrobial usage is crucial says the UK’s chief veterinary officer, Nigel Gibbens, commenting in the forward to the newly published biennial report from the Pig Health and Welfare Council (PHWC).
Noting the current scale of the “threat” to human and animal health, and the focus on antibiotic use in food production, he said that more data on the issue is needed from the pig sector.
Such information is required to determine how antibiotics are currently used in UK pig production and how the amount and frequency of use can be optimised in future, he added, taking account of practices in other species and other countries.
“The work of the PHWC subgroups on welfare and pigmeat food safety is also crucial to maintaining consumer confidence and the long term future of UK pig production,” he added, following on with a welcoming acknowledgement of the “partnership arrangements” which continue to be developed between the government and the industry.
“This ensures that the views and advice from the pig industry on the development of policy and strategy are presented in a constructive way to the government,” he said, adding that it was important to have a joint UK approach wherever possible to all such issues as this will enable an exchange of ideas and initiatives to improve the health and welfare of the pig industry throughout the UK.