Australia’s chief veterinary officer, Dr Mark Schipp, visited the large 2000-sow farm in Young as part of activities to mark Antibiotic Awareness Week, and said it was well known that excessive use of antibiotic treatment can lead to strains of bacteria emerging which don’t respond to current antibiotic treatment—also known as antimicrobial resistance.
“Antimicrobial resistance is recognised as a growing threat to human and animal health on a global scale, and by creating awareness, we are mitigating this threat to animal welfare, biosecurity and production,” Dr Schipp said.
The nation’s chief veterinary officer said Australia has some the lowest levels of antibiotic use in animals, as some use is required to maintain health and welfare, which means the threat of an antibiotic resistant bacteria emerging is very real.
“In Australia, both the human and animal health sectors are collaborating with the food and agricultural industries, to develop a combat plan in case an antimicrobial resistant bacteria emerges,” Schipp said.
“The piggery has implemented a common sense approach to managing animal health by providing adequate nutrition, abiding to strict biosecurity measures and using vaccines to control infectious diseases in livestock production,” he said.
“This piggery’s management model has been duplicated in other parts of the world, which demonstrates that Australia is a world leader in developing innovative and practical animal management strategies.”