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Minimising the use of antibiotics in pork production

Palmer Holden


This article starts with an introduction to antibiotics and its uses.

It then charts the growth of antibiotic use through the four different programmes. The "conventional", "no subtherapeutic from 40-100 lb", "no subtherapeutic" and "no antibiotics" and sets definitions for them.

It also lists the various requirements when producers embark on such programmes.

The article also discusses production health issues and various herd management strategies that would make the use of antibiotics unnecessary or minimal. It also includes some diseases that do not require the use of antibiotics and the issue of parasites.

It also lists the advantages of production systems with and without antibiotics and gives advice on how best to keep disease out of the pig herd by explaining basic management skills such as stockmanship and biosecurity.

One part of the article also details pig introduction and quarantine as well as movement of vehicles in or out of the pig farm.

The article also includes a medicine programme for diseased pigs and procedures to remove it from the herd. A section on farrowing also highlights the importance of colostrums in providing antibodies to the piglets and details how best to carry out the process.

Lastly, the article expounds on feeding practices and formulations for newly weaned piglets, environmental issues and genetics programs.

This article also includes tables on estimated production costs with herds using antibiotics.



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Article made possible through the contribution of the Iowa State University

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