Page 7 - Australian Pork Newspaper
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UK report hammers Australian free trade agreement with antimicrobial use
AUSTRALIAN meat imports into the UK under a free trade agree- ment, currently being negotiated, have become the target of a campaign by a coalition of 65 health, medical, envi- ronmental and animal- welfare groups to stop the overuse of antimicro- bials in animal farming.
targets that have helped has not published any genes in bacteria derived crobial use should not be be moderated on many It has demonstrated a
The coalition is not seeking a blanket ban on the use of antimicrobials, rather it seeks a world in which farming systems do not rely on routine antimi- crobial use.
The written evidence states, “The importation of meat and dairy produced with routine preventative antimicrobial use must be rapidly phased out, and so no trade deals should be agreed which increase the importation of such produce.”
Though Australia has good data regarding the very low prevalence of several key resistance
While reducing antimi-
Almost certainly, given local experience and data from elsewhere in the world, it is highly likely that antimicrobial use can
farming group in Aus- tralia has been quietly going about a program of compliance with the WHO global antimicro- bial resistance strategy.
Calls to update country
of origin labelling laws
for pork products
WORLD Animal Pro- tection has launched a campaign calling for greater transparency to help shoppers support NSW pig farmers.
port the higher standards being promoted by most Australian pig farmers,” Mr Pearson said.
The campaign is urging the government to update country of origin label- ling requirements so that consumers can tell where their pork comes from.
World Animal Protec- tion is encouraging those who choose to buy pork products, to check the labels for a country of origin when they’re at the supermarket.
According to World An- imal Protection, while the fresh pork on our shelves is Australian, most of our processed pork – such as ham and bacon – is im- ported from Europe or North America, with the US making up around 50 percent of total imports.
In the case of ham and bacon, avoid products im- ported from the US and look for higher welfare Australian options.
Head of Campaigns at World Animal Protection Ben Pearson said, “Aus- tralian pig farmers are ahead of many US pig farmers when it comes to animal welfare.”
Current country of or- igin labelling laws allow companies to completely omit which country im- ported ham and bacon is from, and Australians are unaware of the ramifica- tions, according to World Animal Protection.
“Clearer pork labels would give shoppers the information they deserve, allowing them to sup-
Get involved in the cam- paign or find out more at worldanimalprotection.
achieve reductions in an- timicrobial use.
information on its farm antimicrobial use for any year after 2010.
from slaughter pigs, and its record regarding reg- istration of antimicrobials for use in pigs is at global best practice level, it is silent on the matter of an- timicrobial use.
an end in itself, Australia should at least be able to document how much it uses in each food animal species, given the long- term importance of anti- microbial resistance.
Australian pig farms.
Dr Peter McKenzie has long been an advocate of reliance on good-farming practices rather than an- timicrobials among his
nearly 70 percent reduc- tion in antimicrobial use over the past three years across multiple farming sites, without adverse health impacts.
This group argued that the UK should not permit the importation of meat or dairy produce that has relied on the routine use of antimicrobials on farm.
Unfortunately, while there have been several limited studies examining antimicrobial use on pig farms at an industry-wide level, this statement is true.
No data is publicly avail- able, so the UK’s claims regarding the level of use cannot be refuted for any Australian livestock sector.
Currently, we cannot do that.
client base.
Separately, another
This example of respon- sible antimicrobial use is the sort that will place the Australian pork industry in a better light for its global markets and local consumer confidence. Ross Cutler
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In written evidence pre- sented to the UK parlia- ment in September this year, the coalition pointed to the progress over re- cent years to improve an- timicrobial stewardship in farming in the UK and European Union.
These are strong words, but they are increasingly heard in trading environ- ments.
They also referred to set
In contrast, the docu- ment states that Australia
British farmers have re- duced their antimicrobial use by about 50 percent between 2014 and 2018.
The Australian industry is working towards a sow stall phase out in response to consumer sentiment.
World Animal Protection says most mother pigs in the US are kept in sow stalls or cages, while the Australian industry is working to phase it out. Photo: Thomas Alexander
Australian Pork Newspaper, November 2020 – Page 7

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