2018 has been a year of change and adjustment for the pork industry when it comes to treating sick animals. FDA data shows the industry has made remarkable progress in adapting to new federal guiltiness. Last December the pork industry was gearing up for new FDA rules that went into effect on January 1 covering the use of antibiotics.
Dr. Heather Fowler, Pork Checkoff Director of Producer and Public Health, says the industry as whole and producers in particular have done an amazing job of complying with the new rules. “Producers understand the reason for and the important of the new regulations,” she stated. “Before their implementation, we launched an 18 month educational and informational campaign to make sure they understood the rules and were able to make adjustments to their operations.”
The change was driven by new research on antibiotic resistance and by a growing concern from consumers about the use of antibiotics in food production. Dr. Fowler says pork producers share that concern and believe the changes they have made are good for people ad pigs, “Producers understand what is important for people, pigs, and planet. That means protecting the efficacy of antibiotics.” The new rules require veterinarian supervision and record keeping on the sale and use of antibiotics in pork production. Fowler said producers should be commended for the great work they have done in 2018.
There remains a good deal of misinformation by consumers about the use of antibiotics in livestock, and product labeling that is misleading does not help the situation.