American pig farmers’ commitment to their animals, their customers and their communities matches with the goals of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) annual celebration, Get Smart About Antibiotics Week (Nov. 14-20).
“The Get Smart About Antibiotics Week is a good time to reflect on our long history of accomplishments in the antibiotics area, such as using these medications responsibly and embracing the updated Pork Quality AssuranceSM Plus certification program,” said National Pork Board President Jan Archer, a pig farmer from North Carolina. “As pig farmers, we are aware of the challenge of antibiotic resistance and are dedicated to working hard to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, both on the farm and in human medicine.”
According to the CDC, the 2016 Get Smart About Antibiotics Week marks an important year because Congress has allocated $160 million in new funding for the agency to implement its activities listed in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB). The CDC is using this funding to accelerate outbreak detection and prevention, to support innovative research and to inform providers and the general public about antibiotic resistance and appropriate antibiotic use.
The National Pork Board’s three-point antibiotic stewardship plan, announced in mid-2015, focuses on promoting research, increasing pig farmer education and communicating with consumers in 2016 and beyond. The Antibiotic Resource Center, is an example of efforts to assist farmers and others who want to learn more about responsible on-farm antibiotic use.