Antimicrobial stewardship

Overview

“As little as possible, as much as necessary”

That’s our motto when it comes to Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in Australian pork producing businesses. AMS is the practice of using antimicrobial treatments in the appropriate way. This helps secure their use and efficacy for the future.

AMS also reduces antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR lets antimicrobials be more effective and reduces the risk of resistance in other livestock and people.

AMS in Australian pigs

Along with other livestock industries, we've developed an AMS plan for Australian pigs.

Our aim is to reduce the unnecessary use of antimicrobials as growth promotants which have no health and welfare benefit and reduce the numbers of resistant disease bacteria that are not killed by approved antimicrobial medications. Our priority is to optimise:

• Herd management

• Nutrition

• Environment

• Air quality

• Hygiene

• Early disease detection

Optimisation helps us reduce the numbers of pathogens that cause disease, as well as reducing the numbers of resistant bacteria that prevent our pigs responding to medication treatments when they are sick.

Download the Australian Veterinary Association guidelines on Antimicrobial prescribing for pigs.

Why do we use antimicrobials in pig farming?

To keep our pigs healthy we need to use more than antimicrobials.

Producers work closely with their vets to ensure pigs have good:

• Biosecurity

• Pig health

• Nutrition

• Air quality

• Hygiene

 

Watch the videos below to learn more about why we use antimicrobials in pig farming for:

Producers

Vets

Antibiotics or antimicrobials?

Antibiotics are compounds that are produced from bacteria that kill or inhibit the multiplication of targeted disease pathogens. As such, antibiotics are produced from bacteria. However, some other natural and synthesised compounds are effective in acting like an antibiotic – killing targeted disease bacteria.

These include naturally occurring bacteriophages which directly penetrate and kill targeted bacterial cells, or ionophores that change the nature of the disease bacteria cell membrane making it more prone to cell death.