DES MOINES — Starting this month, the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) will ask pig farmers who have at least 1,000 pigs and farm in any of the top 13 pork-producing states about their on-farm antimicrobial use and their related stewardship practices.
Specifically, the NAHMS “Antimicrobial Use on U.S. Swine Operations 2017” study will:
- Estimate the percentage of production sites using and the percentage of weaned market pigs receiving specific antimicrobials in feed and/or water by reasons for use.
- Describe antimicrobial-use practices in feed and water on production sites.
- Provide baseline data (historical) on antimicrobial-use practices in place before implementation of FDA policy changes (prior to 2017), which can be used for evaluating trends over time.
- Describe antimicrobial stewardship practices on production sites with weaned market pigs or swine nursery and grower-finisher facilities.
“As an industry, we welcome this latest effort by USDA to get accurate information to the public about how America’s pig farmers actually use antibiotics,” Jan Archer, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer in Goldsboro, N.C., said in a news release from the group.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will contact producers. Later this summer, those who agree to participate will meet with a veterinarian from the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, who will conduct the survey. Importantly, the NAHMS study will protect participants’ privacy by not revealing names or contact information associated with individual data.
“There’s too much misinformation out there today, and we see this as a way to provide a more accurate picture of how we are doing the right thing on our farms every day,” Archer said.