Page 12 - Australian Pork Newspaper
P. 12

Australasian Pig Science Association (Inc)
APSA 2019
Adelaide, Australia
17th - 20th November 2019
Mark these dates in your calendar
17th - 20th November 2019 The Australasian Pig Science Association
is pleased to announce that
the 2019 APSA Biennial Conference will be held at the
Adelaide, SA, Australia
As little as possible, as much as necessary – lab tests help reduce medication to control ileitis by 85 percent
th 17
th to 20
November 2019.
Student APSA Member
Full Registration Day Registration Full Registration Day Registration Full Registration
Early Bird
455.00 1025.00 555.00 380.00
455.00 1325.00 555.00 380.00
Registrations Open Now
Reducing antimicrobial use in animals is important but not always easy to do
Registration Prices Early bird ends 1st September 2019
REDUCING antimi- crobial use is a pivotal part of the global plan against microbial resist- ance in both human and animal pathogens.
When it comes to on- farm decisions for treat- ment, human factors are as important as technical ones.
Prior experience and risk avoidance have a ma- jor influence on decisions about treatment.
There is extensive knowledge available to substantially prevent, reduce and control the burden of many animal diseases without the use of antimicrobials in pro- duction animals – the battleground is in consist- ently and effectively im- plementing the necessary management changes.
In practice, however, these behavioural chang- es are difficult to accom- plish.
The reasons are com- plex and differ from per- son to person.
Insights into enabling or inhibiting factors can be helpful for policy mak- ers, advisers and others, which will ultimately help support veterinari- ans and farmers in adopt- ing new behaviours.
The adoption of pru- dent antimicrobial use
principles thus requires a change in attitudes for both veterinarians and farmers.
It is widely believed the role of veterinarians should change from re- active and curative an- timicrobial prescribers towards a more proactive role as animal health con- sultants for farmers with- out relying on prescribing antimicrobials.
Farmers should ideally depart from relying on using antimicrobials as a management tool to- wards a more proactive approach that prevents animal diseases and uses antimicrobials only as a last resort.
To successfully imple- ment change, individuals need support tailored to their situation.
A person’s beliefs are related to attitudes, per- ceived norms of others and self-efficacy.
Understanding people’s beliefs can be useful in designing specific strate- gies to support people to adopt new behaviours.
Once an intention for a certain behaviour is established, it needs to progress into action and should be sustained over time to have a lasting im- pact.
Here, external factors
come into play – factors an individual often has limited control over.
A person’s skills, knowledge and environ- ment can facilitate or restrict the performance of an actual behaviour through resources, tools, education, subsidies, reg- ulations, organisational constraints, fines and so on.
Veterinarians increas- ingly advise farmers on specific management measures aimed at pre- venting animal diseases and reducing antimicro- bial use, but uncertain- ty regarding the (cost) effectiveness of these measures often hampers implementation of the recommendations.
Also, conflicting rec- ommendations from different farm advisors (including other veteri- narians) can be a major obstacle for implement- ing veterinary advice.
Personal (bad or good) experience with specific antimicrobial use prac- tices or management changes has been found to greatly influence the attitudes of farmers and veterinarians –especially when exploring new man- agement or antimicrobial use routines.
Governments can in-
troduce regulations and fines to induce behaviour changes, but these might also introduce unfore- seen and unwanted side effects (illegal use prac- tices, animal welfare is- sues) and require signifi- cant inspection capacity, something Australia will likely try to avoid.
Governments can also support veterinarians and farmers to engage in vol- untary behaviour changes by means of provisions, education and social pressure.
The Dutch approach in the past decade has shown a combination of policy – setting strict re- duction targets for anti- microbial use – and sup- portive instruments can have a huge effect on the level of antimicrobial use in farm animals.
Public pressure has also been a major driver in several countries to re- duce the use of antimi- crobials in farm animals.
It can serve as an ac- celerator for further ac- tion through marketing programs.
Already chickens reared antibiotic free are appearing in Coles in Australia and in Canada ‘No Antibiotic Ever’ pork dominates the shelves of somesupermarkets.
Visit the website for more details
Page 12 – Australian Pork Newspaper, August 2019
DURING the 1970s a disease was recog- nised in growing pigs which caused the cells of the pigs’ gut, par- ticularly those of the small intestine (ileum), to multiply abnormally and produce thicken- ing and inflammation of the small intestine (ileitis).
The micro-organism (a campylobacter-like bac- teria) detected also ap- peared to be in involved in a syndrome in breed- ing gilts which pro- duced massive bleeding into the small intestine.
The disease, then poorly understood, had several names: campy- lobacter, ileitis, porcine haemorrhagic enteritis and proliferative enteri- tis were all used.
Through work by Australian veterinarian Steve McOrist in Edin-
burgh in the 1990s, the causal organism (lawso- nia intracellularis) was grown in a laboratory and the disease repro- duced.
Until 2000 the disease was kept under control by adding antimicrobi- als to pig diets.
Every so often, veteri- narians recommended removing the antimicro- bials.
However, because the bug was still present on farms and the antimi- crobials often prevented the pigs from catching the disease and develop- ing any immunity, when the medication was tak- en out of the feed the pigs got sick.
They showed all the typical signs such as re- duced growth rate and increased deaths.
This was expensive. Every 1 percent in-
crease in death rate per week costs a farm about $3 per pig in weekly inventory.
If the herd growth rate is reduced by 10g per day this can cost an ex- tra $1.50 per pig pro- duced.
It’s understandable that producers and their veterinarians were nerv- ous about this disease and used continuous in-feed antimicrobial medications for control.
Following McOrist’s work, laboratory tests were developed.
These could detect whether pigs had been exposed to the bacteria.
Only then could man- agement of the disease be modified.
Instead of using an- timicrobials in all the grower rations continu- ously, medication at low doses could be given to specific age groups of pigs.
Adding the antibiotic at a low level to the feed allowed the pigs to become exposed to the bacteria but prevented the signs of the disease.
Veterinarians could take blood samples from the growing pigs at about 14 weeks of age to check the pigs had developed an im- munity, so finisher pigs could then be safely left
If there was a fail-
ure during the process of controlled exposure, then emergency antibi- otic could be given via the water supply.
This method of manag- ing the bacteria and using the blood test has meant farms have been able to reduce their use of in- feed antimicrobials by as much as 85 percent.
No two farms are the same and solutions need to be tailor made but there are many exam- ples that show how re- ducing antimicrobial use can be done safely.
In the early 2000s, a vaccine became avail- able.
It contained a live form of the bacteria that did not cause the dis- ease.
This vaccine was giv- en by mouth or in water. It worked very well to the point that some high health status herds were able to remove antimi- crobials from the wean-
Though some damage
to the pigs’ intestines was noticed at slaughter inspections from time to time, this was fixed by making sure the vaccine was administered cor- rectly on farm.
An injectable lawso- nia vaccine is available internationally and its arrival in Australia is eagerly anticipated. Ross Cutler

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