National Pig Association (NPA) chief executive Zoe Davies has been interviewed about Livestock Associated-MRSA (LA-MRSA) and pork for a feature due to be aired on BBC’s Countryfile programme on Sunday night.
Countryfile is running a feature on LA-MRSA focusing on the Danish pig herd, following a report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism last year.
The Countryfile feature follows the rise of cases in Denmark, the impact it has had and what has been done to mitigate the risks. It will also touch on antibiotic use as we are aware that they have interviewed an ‘antibiotic free’ Danish producer.
Dr Davies said: “I very much hope they include my contribution because I tried to get the message across that LA-MRSA has not been deemed high risk by the government, and is not the same as hospital associated MRSA, so the public should not be worried.
“However, as a proactive industry we have worked with government to provide guidance for those working with pigs to reduce risk even further and NPA has developed an imports protocol in conjunction with the UK breeding companies, which is now mandatory under Red Tractor.
“It details testing that should be considered for many key diseases that we don’t wish to import, including LA- MRSA, when anyone is bringing in live breeding animals or semen from outside the UK.”
“We have only seen a handful of cases of LA-MRSA in the UK – officially six in pigs. Hospital surveillance has picked up very few cases and none that are associated with people working directly with livestock.
“In addition, as the recent Food Standards Agency MRSA risk assessment confirmed, there has never been a single case documented of LA-MRSA being contracted by anyone eating meat products from anywhere in the world. “
You can see the NPA’s briefing on LA-MRSA here.