Benchmarking data using computer software programs has been integrated into the swine industry for decades to provide an opportunity for improved management. Antibiotic benchmarking is a relatively new production tool being introduced to swine herds in Canada. Antibiotic benchmarking provides an opportunity for objective discussion between the veterinarian and producers in prudent use of antibiotics including selection of product, usage, dosage, timing and opportunity for improvement. There are a variety of methodologies for analysing farm data but consistency in both method and interpretation it is important to accurately report outcomes and provide comparisons.
Materials and Methods:
Benchmarking took place at the Prairie Swine Centre (PSC), a 340 sow (PIC) farrow-to-finish research farm, near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The breeding herd is closed with replacement gilts produced through internal multiplication. A comprehensive internal and external biosecurity program ensures a high health status is maintained. Productivity exceeds 80% of other commercial swine units.
Antibiotic use and farm animal inventory for a full year (September/2014 to September/2015) were collected from the farm for analysis. These results were compared to 2013 usage. The Compass calculator developed by Boehringer Ingelheim was used to calculate standardized antibiotic usage. This is reported as animal daily dose/100 animal days (ADD/100 animal days) and as “weight of active molecule-mg./ kg of pork produced”. Four production stages were identified; sows, suckling piglets, nursery pigs (wean to 30 kg), and grow-finishers (markets). The following information was collected; antibiotic used, dosage, stage of production, treatment route, drug class, preventative vs curative, average exit weight (kg), days at risk, and number of animals treated.
Total antibiotic use in 2015 was 1.52 mg/kg versus 33.5 mg/kg in 2013. After 2013 two major changes were made; all dietary feed medications were removed and sow lameness protocols were updated. For 2015, 100% of medications used are now curative and injectable versus only 52% of medications being injectable and 48% being in feed in 2013; ADD/100 animal days in 2015 vs. 2013 for nursery – 0.15 vs 37.16 and finisher- 0.05 vs 1.86.
As an early adopter of antibiotic benchmarking technology the PSC has taken a leadership role in the prudent use of antibiotics; effectively reducing their use without compromising welfare. The “on farm” approach to benchmarking is a useful tool in assessing, evaluating and appropriately reducing antibiotic use in swine units.
Disclosure of Interest: None Declared.
Published in the proceedings of the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress – IPVS2016. For information on the event, past and future editions, check out https://ipvs2024.com/.