New antibiotic rules will take effect in the U.S. at the beginning of 2017, including the Veterinary Feed Directive and prescription changes for water-based antibiotics. Pork Checkoff director of producer and public health, Dr. Jennifer Wishnie, is advising pork producers to be prepared.
“Don’t wait until January one. Read through the materials now that are available, and you can find a range of different materials for different audiences at www.pork.org/antibiotics, and contact your vet. Work closely with your vet and make sure they’re aware of the changing regulations and that you’re aware so that when January one comes you have everything in place and ready to go.”
Wishnie says the Pork Checkoff has strived to educate producers about these antibiotic changes and that work will continue.
“I think there’s always going to be populations that are harder to reach than others and someone who may just not have heard it, so we’ll continue our efforts to reach out to all our different producer groups through media, through being at meetings and presenting and having print materials available, and this also applies to 4-H exhibitors. We’ve done a new pamphlet that walks them through what this means to them and how they can work with their 4-H leaders and their veterinarian to be prepared for January 1st.”
Maintaining the health of pigs is a top priority. It is important for the entire swine industry to prepare for this change.
“These rules apply to everyone who raises pigs so what we really need is for everyone to be aware of that information and to share it. Share it with your friends and colleagues so they’re aware as well. But the key is to work with your veterinarian and make sure you have that relationship in place so you can access the veterinary feed director for their prescription when needed for these medically important antibiotics that will fall under the new regulations.”
For more information, producers can contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center. Go to www.Pork.org or call 800-456-PORK.