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‘Let us decide antibiotic treatment time,’ says vet

The amount of time pigs are treated with antibiotics should be at the discretion of animal health experts and not legislation, according to a leading veterinarian.

Dr. Liz Wagstrom, chief vet at the National Pork Producers Council, said potential discussions about how long antibiotics can be given to animals are concerning, and could have negative effects on animal health and food safety.

Speaking to the The Pig Site, Wagstrom said the sector has been looking at alternative ways of keeping pigs healthy since restrictions over the use of medically important antibiotics came into force in January.

Bu she said that any moves from the United States Food and Drug Administration to limit their use further could be counter-productive.

“When you look at some preventive uses of antibiotics or even treatment uses, is there a hard and fast limit that they should set on how many days an antibiotic should be able to used? We have some concerns over that,” Wagstrom said.

“In some cases, let’s say an animal has been exposed to Ileitis in the barn, they’re going to continue to be exposed their entire growing period,” she added.

“So saying you can only use an antibiotic for a certain number of days rather than throughout the time they’re exposed to the disease could be counter-productive to both animal health as well as food safety.”

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