New tool to review antibiotics in pigs
An electronic medicine book for pigs (eMB-Pigs) is now available for all UK pig producers.
Across the UK pig industry, there are increased concerns over antibiotic usage. In recent years, there’s been a mounting force of both public and political pressure, which has resulted in the pig industry to act to put itself in a more informed position on antibiotic use. At present, only total antibiotic sales data for pigs and poultry are available, which doesn’t give an accurate picture of pig-specific use. For this reason, the English Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) Pork group and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) have developed the eMB-Pigs website, which is also supported by Northern Ireland and the Scottish and Welsh levy bodies.
An electronic medicine book for pigs (eMB-Pigs) is now available for all UK pig producers, in light of the need to collect accurate on-farm antibiotic usage data. eMB-Pigs provides an electronic version of the existing ‘paper’ medicine book. It’s a convenient way to record and quantify usage so producers can review and optimise their antibiotic use. The aim is to enable the industry to record on-farm antibiotic usage data accurately. It will also be used to provide an anonymised, aggregated national record of total antibiotic usage for the VMD. eMB-Pigs has been accessed by more than 100 producers from across the UK in its first couple of weeks since launching.
You can use the eMB-Pigs website either to:
- Simply enter or upload your total antibiotic usage or
- Replace your current medicine recording book or any previous method of collating data avoiding duplication.
The long-term view is that eMB-Pigs will help individual producers review their approach to antibiotic use from one year to the next. You will also be able to compare your on-farm usage to anonymised data from other similar units. This will help you to make any potential management changes to reduce production costs, working with your vet. It will also help with Red Tractor requirements that require total antibiotic usage.
If you already have a login for Pig Hub or eAMLS (the electronic pig movement service) you can login using the same log-in details either directly at https://emb-pigs.ahdb.org.uk or via the Pig Hub website www.pighub.org.uk.
To register for free, go to the ‘Home Page’ on www.pighub.org.uk and click on the icon representing your business type. After filling in the details, a username and password will be emailed to you (please check spam folder).
For help and support: Pig.Hub@ahdb.org.uk. You can also assign agents, additional contacts and vets to your holding.
Video guide to using eMB
A step-by-step video guide to adding antibiotic usage into eMB has been produced by AHDB Pork and is available on YouTube.
AHDB Pork vet team manager Martin Smith said: “The interest from producers has been good but we need to get the whole industry on board.
“It is vital we get the whole industry on board and provide a benchmark for the amount of antibiotics actually being used by the end of the year. Next year targets for antibiotic reduction will be introduced and we need to know how much is being used or those targets could be hard to meet.
“Using eMB is very straightforward and can, if producers wish, replace their existing medicines book.”