Antimicrobial Benchmarking Project to Allow Comparison of On-Farm Antibiotic Use

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Farmscape for May 25, 2022

Full Interview 5:48 Listen

An antimicrobial use benchmarking project will allow Saskatchewan’s pork producers to compare their on-farm use of antibiotics to others in the province and across Canada. A first of its kind antimicrobial use bench marking project for Saskatchewan’s pork sector, conducted by the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, in partnership with the Agriculture Development Fund, will track types and quantities of antimicrobials purchased by farms, including prescriptions, receipts and farm records over three years. Ravneet Kaur, the Manager of Producer Services and on-farm food safety programs with Sask Pork, says current antibiotic usage on Saskatchewan swine farms will be evaluated and compared with other farms in Saskatchewan and across Canada.

Clip-Ravneet Kaur-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
We basically have two main participants, producers and veterinarians. They both need credible tools to collect, analyze and compare antimicrobial usage in all stages of production. By monitoring the current use of antibiotics producers and their veterinarians will have the tools to make more informed decisions regarding prudent and effective antimicrobial use with extensive reductions of use.
The information generated will help develop provincial baseline valid changes in farm level antimicrobial usage over time, will educate and create awareness about antibiotic usage on farms and provide platforms for future discussions on usage. This will be available to participating producers, their farm veterinarians and will be shared with producers and other stakeholders at producer meetings, annual general meetings and Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium as well. The other main point is that the suboptimal use of antimicrobial drugs is expensive for producers and that will further demonstrate the industry’s prudent and judicious use of antimicrobial drugs. And it’s important in terms current public perception as well, especially for indiscriminate antimicrobial use in food animals.

Kaur notes, over the past few years Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba Pork have undertaken different versions of antimicrobial usage projects but this will be the first such project in Saskatchewan.

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