U.S. pig farmers are not only well aware of new federal rules for on-farm antibiotic use, they already are complying, according to a survey conducted by the National Pork Board in November.
“The pork industry worked toward the Jan. 1 implementation date for nearly two years. There was a concern that some producers would not make changes until after the date of implementation, but that does not seem to be the case,” said Jan Archer, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “Pig farmers are committed to the substantive changes regarding antibiotic use, and many discontinued using antibiotics for growth promotion years ago, while also reviewing swine medical treatment uses of antibiotics as well.”
Archer added that a key hurdle in complying with new FDA rules is ensuring that every pig farmer has a defined and ongoing client relationship with a veterinarian. That can be a challenge in remote areas of the country where the nearest veterinarian could be hundreds of miles away. Last month the Pork Checkoff announced a partnership with Global Vetlink of Ames, Iowa, to offer a veterinarian locator tool, which is available here.
In response to specific questions about the National Pork Board’s strategic plan implemented early in 2015, the awareness and importance of each goal remains strong. On a 10-point scale:
Build Consumer Trust rated a mean score of 8.91 (a decrease from 9.04 in 2015).
Grow Consumer Demand rated a mean score of 8.70 (an increase from 8.63 in 2015).
Drive Sustainable Production rated a mean score of 8.18 (an increase from 7.96 in 2015).