by Jan Archer
As the new year begins, pork producers are not alone in the renewed effort to use antibiotics responsibly. Everyone is doing their part to reduce the potential problems associated with antibiotic resistance – from your local doctor to your livestock counterparts around the world. This global concern has led to the worldwide effort known as One Health, which puts people, animals and the environment at the center of its focus. This echoes the National Pork Board’s own emphasis on people, pigs and planet found in its strategic plan.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out, we have to take even better care of the antibiotics we have today so that we don’t lose any of these critical tools in the future. Continuing to work closely with our veterinarians and building relationships with them helps us make the best possible health decisions for our animals and to meet our greater goal of good antibiotic stewardship.
Livestock farmers need to tell the story of how real change is underway on pig farms across America. We no longer use human medically important antibiotics for growth-promotion, and we are focused on responsible antibiotic use. This means using them only when necessary for the health and well-being of our animals.
As pork producers, we are always seeking ways to do what’s right for our animals, our consumers and the environment. The changes that are now in effect for antibiotic use might be new, but they aren’t an unusual challenge for us. Our industry has always been innovative. As we seek new ways to reduce the overall need for antibiotics, we’ll do what we’ve always done – keep our livestock healthy and produce safe food.