Antimicrobial resistance in the Irish pig sector
Edgar Garcia Manzanilla
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the 10 biggest health threats in the world according to the World Health Organisation. Thus, it is urgent to promote prudent antimicrobial use (AMU) in humans and animals to reduce AMR and keep antibiotics effective against common bacterial diseases like pneumonia or sepsis.
Following EU legislation, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is implementing iNAP – the National Action Plan to reduce AMU – and Teagasc is playing a key role through several initiatives.
The first step to reducing AMU is to establish a database monitoring current use. Teagasc collected the first database on AMU in Ireland for the pig sector in 2018 as part of project AMURAP (Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Animal Production). DAFM used this database as a reference to build the National AMU Database for pigs, implemented in 2019. All farmers have to provide AMU data to this database as part of new 2021 requirements for Bord Bia’s Pig Quality Assurance Scheme for pig farms and the AHI Pig HealthCheck programme. This database is essential for DAFM, veterinarians and farmers to understand AMU in pig farms, implement the necessary actions and monitor the reduction in its use.
Other contributors: Nola Leonard (UCD School of Veterinary Medicine).
Funding: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Impact pathway: Technology development and adoption; Capacity building; Policy influencing.