Pig antibiotic alarm

Saturday 11 April 2015


NEW RESEARCH from Denmark has shown conventional pigs were treated with 10 times more doses of antibiotics than organic pigs.

The statistics released by the Danish agriculture minister, Dan Jorgensen, also showed the difference between organic and conventional doses of antibiotics increased to 20 times more for weaners.

In the UK, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate does not yet publish accurate antibiotic use data by species as it does not yet have a comparable system to Denmark’s VetStat, but the sales data the VMD does publish shows that antibiotic use in British pigs and poultry is about four or five times higher per unit of livestock than it is in Denmark.

The Soil Association policy director, Peter Melchett, said: “The figures from Denmark also show that if UK organic pigs receive similar amounts of antibiotics as Danish organic pigs, then the difference between UK organic and non-organic pigs would be about 40 or 50 fold.”

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