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Antimicrobial use in other sectors – UK poultry on a roller coaster
IN the UK antimicro- timicrobial amount used sampled from the intes- uring use requires a major
bial stewardship pro- grams have helped drive down antimicrobial use in the poultry sector by 76 percent over the pe- riod between 2012 and 2019.
to be corrected for dif- ferent bird weights and averaged over an entire population.
tines of pigs at slaughter. This approach has avoided the need to measure antimicrobial usage but goes to the heart of the matter by directly measuring resistance car- ried by bacteria living in
commitment by owners, managers and the veteri- nary team, whereas ro- botic methodology tests samples collected at slaughter relatively easily.
Use of antimicrobials considered of critical im- portance in human medi- cine has been reduced by 97 percent over the same period.
The quickest gains are made when the medica- tions are removed from feed.
the pigs.
Through funding from
As usage levels are driven lower, the risk is that animals requiring treatment might be missed, with consequent adverse welfare events.
Clearly the British poultry industry has dem- onstrated its commitment to being part of the so- lution to the problem of antimicrobial resistance.
Indeed, it seems this may be happening as last year broiler sector antimi- crobial usage actually in- creased from 12.4 in 2018 to 17.5mg/pcu in 2019.
Other countries measure AMU in the livestock sec- tors.
Variation in health status of a herd or flock, genetics, diet, husbandry skills, group size and ac- commodation quality all have an impact on disease outbreaks and the need to medicate.
It is an exceptional achievement.
This highlights both the importance of being able to use medications when they are needed and the need to monitor use.
Australia may yet, to meet its trade and other international obligations, need to do this too.
Poultry farmers and veterinarians in the UK and in Australia need an- tibiotics in their toolbox to protect the health and welfare of birds in their care.
Despite the increase in usage, the 2019 level is still well below the UK target.
AMU data are harder to come by because meas-
Ross Cutler
The UK performance is admirable but some argue levels may be pushed too low too quickly.
the Commonwealth De- partment of Agriculture and Water and building on this research, the partners have developed a labora- tory robot that can test thousands of samples.
It’s a matter of careful selection of the medica- tions used and, as in all things, balance of need and risk.
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The UK poultry sector has a government ap- proved antimicrobial usage target of 25mg per population corrected unit, and the current usage level – 17.5mg in broilers – is well below this.
The Australian govern- ment has yet to set usage targets for Australian live- stock sectors.
In turkeys, things have improved considerably.
An Australian Pork Limited research project, led by a consortium of research partners from the University of Adelaide, Murdoch University and NSW Department of Pri- mary Industry, has dem- onstrated a low level of resistance to important antimicrobials in E coli
That sector used 219.5mg/pcu in 2014, but by 2019 it used just 42mg/ pcu.
The population cor- rected unit allows the an-
There are competing ideas on this subject.
Grant reminder
ANY businesses looking to invest in new projects or ex- pansion opportunities in Western Australia are reminded applica- tions close soon for a $6.5 million grants program.
tralian economy.” The grants include:
The Value Add In- vestment Grants pro- gram – delivered by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Develop- ment – is supporting investment and growth opportunities for the Western Australian food, fibre, beverage and value-add pro- cessing industry.
available for grants of between $250,000 and $750,000 to support capital expenditure related to the expan- sion of value adding to primary production in Western Australia. Funding Stream Two - De-risking invest- ment
Agribusiness, Food and Trade executive di- rector Liam O’Connell said the incentive scheme targeted value- adding businesses with growth potential from across regional and metropolitan Western Australia.
Up to $500,000 is available for grants of between $50,000 and $150,000 to contribute towards the cost of de- risking investment.
“This statewide pro- gram aims to enable diversification, eco- nomic growth and employment by sup- porting value-adding and processing agri- businesses to invest in new projects or expan- sion plans that build competitiveness, scale, growth and jobs,” Mr O’Connell said.
Eligible businesses are required to match the grant funding dollar-for-dollar.
“While relatively small compared to other states and terri- tories, our food, fibre and beverage manu- facturing industry is growing and is rela- tively job intensive, with high direct and indirect benefits for the broader Western Aus-
The grants are a key component of the State Government’s $16.7 million four-year Food and Beverage Fund, which aims to stimulate growth and support economic re- covery from COVID- 19.
Funding Stream One - Capital expenditure Up to $6 million is
This includes con- tributing to the cost of feasibility studies, business plans and ap- provals to expand in or relocate to Western Australia.
Applications close 5.00pm (Australian Western Standard Time) Friday October 9, 2020.
More information is available from the de- partment website agric. or by phoning 08 9368 3853.
Australian Pork Newspaper, October 2020 – Page 5

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