June 29, 2021

AHDB: Use of antibiotics to treat pigs in UK dipped 5% last year


New figures show the amount of antibiotics prescribed to treat pigs on UK farms in 2020 dropped by 5%, bringing the total reduction since 2015 to 62%, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).


This was despite disease outbreaks and challenges from disruption to pig movements during the pandemic that meant pigs spent more time on farm than usual.


According to data collected using the electronic medicine book (eMB), antibiotic use in 2020 reduced to 105mg/PCU, compared with 110mg/PCU in 2019 and 278mg/PCU in 2015.


The data represents more than 95% of pigs slaughtered in the United Kingdom and continues the downward trend since recording started, although challenges with swine dysentery in 2019 and early 2020 temporarily halted progress.


The overall result is close to the target of 99mg/PCU set by the UK pig industry.


Use of highest priority critically important antibiotics (HP-CIAs) remains at a very low level, although a slight increase from 0.04mg/PCU to 0.05mg/PCU has been recorded in 2020.


No colistin use has been reported in 2020.