We know that a healthy animal is likely to be a more productive animal, whatever the type of production system being operated. When designing our nutritional products, and advising farmers on their use, we always seek to actively support the maintenance of optimal health status. However as with humans, effective treatment with antibiotics is sometimes necessary to protect animal health and welfare and, ultimately, food safety and quality.
Antibiotics should never be routinely used, but rather targeted, at the appropriate dose and in the right circumstances, to treat and cure sick animals and/or control disease.
Antibiotics are often administered to animals through their feed, as prescribed by veterinary professionals. We add prescribed drugs into our products on our customers’ behalf.
Antimicrobial resistance is a major concern for both human and animal health globally. In the UK the government now requires livestock producers to evidence a reduction in their use of antibiotics. In the pig sector, farmers must record quarterly all antibiotics given to their animals via an online industry tool called eMB-Pigs.
This approach is working: since the eMB-Pigs database was introduced in 2016, we have seen a significant drop in the amount of prescribed antibiotics we are being asked to add into the feed we manufacture.
We help our customers to keep an accurate record of medicines given by providing them detailed reports of their usage. However, the manual entering of data into the eMB-Pigs database is a time-consuming process that increases the risk of incomplete or inaccurate records. We have therefore developed the ability to transfer our data directly into eMB-Pigs on behalf of our customers – the first feed supplier to offer this service.
This makes the process of collecting data more accurate and efficient, giving both the UK Government and the pig producers greater confidence in the quality of the reported data. We see that accurate measurement provides a strong evidence base that will enable our industry to work together and focus on initiatives that improve overall health status and further reduce the need for prescribed antibiotics.