Veterinarians Key in Antimicrobial Stewardship in U.S. Swine Sites

( National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff )

A new USDA report provides the nation’s first in-depth look at antimicrobial use and stewardship practices on U.S. swine sites.

The USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System’s (NAHMS) Antimicrobial Use and Stewardship on U.S. Swine Operations 2017 study collected information about antimicrobial use and stewardship practices on U.S. swine sites from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2016—before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented antimicrobial use policy changes on Jan. 1, 2017. 

These FDA changes eliminated the use of medically important antimicrobials for growth promotion purposes in food animals and required veterinary oversight for the use of medically important antimicrobials in animal feed or water. 

The study represents new data collection and reporting efforts by the USDA and is intended to be repeated over time to monitor changes in antimicrobial use practices. Data for the study were collected from swine sites with at least 1,000 market pigs on Dec. 1, 2016. In total, producers from 199 swine sites provided data for this report. This study was conducted in 13 top swine-producing states, which represented 92.1% of the U.S. swine inventory and 93.8% of U.S. swine sites with 1,000 or more pigs in 2016.

States

Source: USDA

Some key findings include:
-More than 75% of all sites gave market pigs antimicrobials in water. Of sites that had nursery-age pigs, about 50% gave the pigs antimicrobials in water. Of sites that had grower/finisher-age pigs, about 60% gave the pigs antimicrobials in water. 

-For sites that gave nursery-age and grower/finisher-age pigs antimicrobials in water, the highest percentages gave them for respiratory disease and diarrhea. Gentamicin, penicillin G, and oxytetracycline were the antimicrobials given in water to nursery-age pigs by the highest percentages of sites. Oxytetracycline and lincomycin were the antimicrobials given in water to grower/finisher-age pigs by the highest percentages of sites.

-More than 90% of all sites gave market pigs antimicrobials in feed. About 90% of sites that had nursery-age pigs gave the pigs antimicrobials in feed, and about 83% of sites that had grower/finisher-age pigs gave the pigs antimicrobials in feed. As was the case with antimicrobials used in water, the highest percentages of sites gave nursery-age pigs antimicrobials in feed for respiratory disease and diarrhea. About 50% of sites that had grower/finisher-age pigs gave the pigs antimicrobials in feed for respiratory disease, and more than one-third of sites gave them for growth promotion. 

-Chlortetracycline/tiamulin and carbadox were the antimicrobials given in feed to nursery-age pigs by the highest percentages of sites

-Chlortetracycline/tiamulin, bambermycin, and chlortetracycline alone were the antimicrobials given in feed to grower/finisher-age pigs by the highest percentages of sites.

-More than 90% of sites that gave antimicrobials in water or feed recorded at least some information about how antimicrobials were administered. About 92% of these sites recorded the date that antimicrobials use in water began, and about 94% recorded the antimicrobial used. About 97% of sites that gave antimicrobials in feed recorded the date treatment began and the antimicrobial used. 

-Almost all sites (96.9%) had workers who were Pork Quality Assurance-Plus certified. 

-Most sites consulted a veterinarian when making decisions on antimicrobial use. On about 88% of sites that gave antimicrobials in water, a veterinarian decided when to use antimicrobials in water, and on about 92%, a veterinarian decided which antimicrobials to use in water. Similarly, on about 87% of sites that gave antimicrobials in feed, a veterinarian decided when to use antimicrobials in feed, and on about 91%, a veterinarian decided which antimicrobials to use in feed. About 65% of sites had a veterinarian visit their site from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2016, and almost all sites (98.2%) had a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR).

Use of Veterinarians

Because of the FDA rules, future surveys likely will show a significant decline in use of some antimicrobials during 2017 and subsequent years, particularly those used in feed and those used for performance purposes.

Study results and data for Swine Operations and Beef Feedlots are available on the APHIS website.


For more on antibiotic stewardship:

Help Consumers Understand Why We Use Antibiotics in Pigs

U.S. Pork Industry Ends 2018 with Major Antibiotic Progress

Antimicrobial Resistance: Hospitals, Farms Share More Than You Think

NAHMS Reports Baseline Data on Antimicrobial Stewardship

 
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