Antibiotics are an important tool in the pig farmer’s toolbox. While we don’t ever want to use them when they’re not needed, we’re glad to have them if the need arises.
To make sure antibiotics remain effective for our pigs’ health and well-being, we need to use them as directed, by a veterinarian, and only when necessary. Doing so ensures our pigs stay healthy to produce safe products such as bacon!
That’s why the National Pork Board continually funds third-party research on antibiotics and related topics. Then, this information is passed on to farmers to implement best practices to keep their pigs healthy and produce safe food. This is why the National Pork Board stresses the importance of farmers having a good veterinary-client-patient relationship, or VCPR. Because even though I know my pigs very well, it’s important to have a medical professional involved, too.
As pig farmers, we always strive to provide the best food for our pigs. This is why the National Pork Board also continues to do research on swine nutrition, so we can make sure we’re creating the best diet to make sure that our pigs are as healthy as possible and reduce the need to use antibiotics.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve our on-farm management practices to keep up with the latest research in animal health.
Raising pigs is hard work, but we’re always trying to be better than we were yesterday. I guess you could say we’re perfectionists. We continue to look at and challenge the way we do things on our farm and continue to look to new and novel ways to reduce the need for antibiotics. Whether it’s improvements in management or antibiotic alternatives, today’s pig farmers are on the front lines of trying new methods and funding new research. It’s an exciting time to be on the farm.