The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA), in conjuction with European Antibiotic Awareness Day, launched its revised RUMA pig guidelines. RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald, introduced the new pig guidelines at the Promoting Good Veterinary Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference at Liverpool University.
FitzGerald said that the new versions of the pig antimicrobial guidelines stressed the need to manage farms to reduce disease challenge and minimize antibiotic use. They include practical advice for vets and farmers and highlight the four golden rules on disease control:
- Limit pig-to-pig contact
- Avoid stress
- Good hygiene
- Good nutrition
"First introduced in 2000, these guidelines are intended as working documents and have been updated periodically to continually provide best advice," FitzGerald explained. "Now in their third editions, the short version provides quick and easy guiding principles that can be used as a working document by pig farmers, while the longer version is aimed primarily at veterinary surgeons and other advisers, to provide more detail.
"The holistic approach to minimising disease set out by the four golden rules helps reduce the need to use antibiotics without adversely affecting animal welfare. It is important to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance without reducing the availability of necessary antibiotics."
Like all RUMA guidelines, the new pig guidelines are available free of charge on the RUMA website.