The National Pork Board has received only two calls into its farmer call center requesting clarification or information about the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance on antibiotic use in livestock production since the rules took effect Jan. 1, 2017.

“America’s 60,000 pig farmers are keenly aware of the change occurring on farms, and they were clearly ready, willing and able to meet the requirements of these new rules,” said Terry O’Neel, board president and a pig farmer from Friend, Nebraska. “To have just two calls into our call center tells me that the requirements are being met and our two-year proactive education plan has paid off.”

FDA guidance 209 and 213 ends the use of medically-important antibiotics for growth promotion and increases veterinarian oversight for on-farm antibiotic use through the Veterinary Feed Directive and prescriptions. All human medically-important antibiotics administered to pigs in feed and water must have direct veterinarian oversight.

The National Pork Board is also continuing its work with Dr. Peter Davies of the University of Minnesota to develop a “models and metrics” platform to demonstrate overall reduction in on-farm antibiotic use.

 “This will be an essential tool to improve understanding of antibiotic prescription practices and will better educate pig farmers on using antibiotics correctly to keep animals healthy,” Davies said.