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Reducing the use of antibiotics in Spanish pig farms with GO REDaPORC

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The REDaPORC Operational Group was born with the aim of reducing the use of antibiotics in pig farms in Spain. An approach fully aligned with the 'Farm to Fork' strategy of the European Commission and the One Health concept of the WHO (World Health Organization).

Posted on Nov 06 ,00:05

Reducing the use of antibiotics in Spanish pig farms with GO REDaPORC

The white-coated pig sector faced the European challenge of reducing the use of antibiotics by 50% between 2020 and 2030, which in turn contributed to the need, demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, to work in a coordinated manner in the sectors of human, animal, plant and environmental health.

Today, with the work done, we can say with great satisfaction that the success of this initiative has been total.

REDaPORC has achieved a series of improvements in farm biosecurity, with improvements in changing room design, waste management, drinking water quality and the presence of biosecure loading and unloading docks.

Developing this aspect, we found that some of the data obtained thanks to this exhaustive study was that in the mother farms the variables that generated the most antibiotic consumption were the adequate management of the personnel loading and unloading the animals, the restriction of visits to the farm, the use of detergent soap in cleaning the buildings and the access of empty transport vehicles.

Thanks to the diagnosis of diseases and consumption data after their detection, producers have been able to associate the diseases generated by the bacterium Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae with a greater consumption of antibiotics, and those generated by the PRRS virus by increasing secondary bacterial diseases in which the use of antibiotics is necessary for its control.

But before these important results, the GO REDaPORC initially worked on the identification and characterization of the most important risk factors for antibiotic consumption and biosafety markers in 350 farms. This research collected the most common reasons for the use of antibiotics, whether for biosafety, animal management and comfort, or for the care of pathologies.

Using this data, we created a digital tool that captures and compares information about animal risks and consumption levels. For this, and thanks to the collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), data from REGA were integrated for the registration and characterization of farms, SITRAN for movements and PRESVET for antibiotic prescriptions.

On this platform, decision makers have valuable information at their disposal with which they can detect their critical points and safety risks, improve their efficiency in the use of resources, reduce the use of antibiotics and the cost of treatments, prevent the generation of resistant bacteria and contribute to the improvement of the environment by minimizing emissions per kilo of meat.

Comparative reports can be prepared by farm, by cooperative, by integrated company or by area or region, whatever the size. In this way, the platform allows you to obtain all the information about real situations similar to those you are experiencing and to be able to act based on what other companies have applied.

And since it is not enough to do the work, but it is also necessary to make it known, INTERPORC carries out multiple awareness-raising and training actions for professionals in the sector in terms of antibiotic reduction, which together with the tool provides a fundamental basis to meet the set objectives.

The REDaPORC tool has been developed thanks to the participation, in addition to INTERPORC, of key companies and entities from the sector, such as Vall Companys, Cincaporc, Sociedad Cooperativa Ganadera de Caspe, Sociedad Agroalimentaria Tejares Hermanos Chico, National Association of Pork Producers (ANPROGAPOR), Grup de Sanejament Porcí de Lleida (GSP), University of Lleida; and as collaborating partners the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS), in addition to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, already mentioned previously.

With this work, INTERPORC intends to lay the foundations on which to grow and contribute to the excellence of the production model of the white-coated pig sector. A research that shows the importance of controlling the use of antibiotics to put our full attention on animal, human and environmental health.

The REDaPORC project (www.redaporc.es) was born with the intention of applying it to the entire Spanish white-coated pig sector, and it is expected that the developed tool, once validated and with a small adaptation, can be applied to other livestock sectors.

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