NOAH unveils an update to AMBP: Antibiotics in Pigs
Pig in a field

Published on

October 21 2021

Red Tractor, the UK’s largest and most comprehensive food assurance scheme, has recently announced key amendments to the UK standards. These revisions, which will directly affect the Animal Medicines Best Practice (AMBP) training programme, apply from 1 November 2021.

Following feedback from Red Tractor’s 46,000 members, along with representatives of the food supply chain, the following new addition has been added regarding the use of antibiotics in pigs:

At least one person on every farm must undertake training in the responsible use of medicines. Where a farm is identified as persistently using high amounts of antibiotics, they must now develop and implement an action plan with their vet to reduce antibiotic use.

Antibiotics are a key medicine used to treat bacterial infections in both humans and animals, but an over-reliance on this treatment option can lead to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This effect occurs when bacteria develop defence strategies and mechanisms, or randomly mutate, resulting in the cells gaining the ability to survive exposure to antibiotics. These resistant strains are then free to multiply and transfer their genetic material.

Therefore, it’s important to regularly monitor and review antibiotic usage in treatment plans to help maintain their value as a therapeutic tool.

Lantra offers a range of specialist AMBP e-learning courses (covering pigs, beef, sheep and dairy) to help support the responsible use of antibiotics across the nation’s farms. The courses, designed in partnership with NOAH, are aimed at for those who regularly work with and treat pigs – allowing them to gain an industry recognised certificate. 

The AMBP online farmer training course is easy to access and allows farmers to complete training when it suits them best. It not only covers the responsible and safe use of all medicines, including antibiotics, but also includes key hot topic areas, which will be of interest to each sector.

The training features current best practice in the use of medicines on farms and raises awareness, knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in livestock. A mix of theory-based sessions and practical applications will be covered throughout, with the requirement to complete 3 modules.

This includes two core modules and one focus module. The focus module includes the following topics:

  • Understanding disease in pig populations
  • Factors affecting disease
  • Antibiotic use strategies
  • Routes of administration for antibiotics
  • Pig sector initiatives.

Dawn Howard, NOAH Chief Executive, says: “Years of collaborative work, focused on the responsible use of antibiotics, has shown how livestock sectors can achieve ambitious targets and reducing the need to treat whilst maintaining the health and welfare of livestock. As we move towards the long-term sustainable use of antibiotics, these new Red Tractor training requirements will help demonstrate how farmers are supplying high quality, nutritious and safe food from our farmed animals, and will support them as they produce this food from healthy animals, more sustainably.”

To find out more about the course, click on the button below:

AMBP: Antibiotics in Pigs Course