eMB updated to identify biggest users of antibiotics in pigs

The electronic Medicines Book (eMB) has a new benchmarking feature that will indicate whether producers fall into the top 5% or 10% of antibiotic users for your holding type over a rolling 12-month period.

The feature is part of the wider move to support those identified as Persistently High Users (PHUs) of antibiotics reduce their usage.

If producers fall in the top 5%, they will be classed as a persistently high user and will be prompted to complete an antibiotic reduction plan in conjunction with your vet. If producers fall in the top 10%, they will be notified as an early warning so they can put measures in place to reduce usage where appropriate, NPA senior policy Rebecca Veale explained.

Persistently High Users of antibiotics will be asked to complete an Antibiotic Reduction Plan (ARP) in conjunction with their PVS vet. The Pig Health and Welfare Council (PHWC) has produced a template Antibiotic Reduction Plan (ARP).

The ARP is intended to help producers and vets work collaboratively on solutions for responsible reductions in the use of antibiotics, Ms Veale said. The template includes actions and timescales for completion in three sections:

  1. Record use from the start of the plan, documenting the progress over time; include a target to aim for.
  2. Vets will collate those antibiotics that make a significant contribution to total usage and reasons for use to help to prioritise and target areas of concern. This section will also include diagnostics, practical constraints and interventions already implemented.
  3. Identify and agree interventions to reduce antibiotic use. These actions might include staff training, internal and external biosecurity practices, diagnostics, or management practices.

Persistently High Users

PHUs are defined as the top 5% of antibiotic users in each of the main categories of production recorded by eMB, except boar studs and gilt units.

The top 5% in each category will be calculated using the last four quarters’ rolling data.

Producers will be notified that they are a PHU when they submit their usage data for the current quarter on eMB. The unit vet will see this on the front page of the eMB report when they are confirming that this has been completed at their quarterly vet visit.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.