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Antibiotic Alternatives Identified as High Priority Research Item

by 5m Editor
8 April 2016, at 6:00am

CANADA - The Chair of Swine Innovation Porc says the development of new tools to help reduce the need for antibiotics has been identified as a key research priority, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The level of public and media interest in antibiotic resistance has increased dramatically over the past couple of years.

Stewart Cressman, the Chair of Swine Innovation Pork, says the use of antibiotics has become a hot button issue.

Stewart Cressman-Swine Innovation Pork:

I think the issue, from a one-health perspective, is that human and animal health are very closely tied.
We've seen antimicrobial resistance increase and being a major issue in hospitals and realize, although we don't have a smoking gun that points specifically to animal agriculture, I think common sense would say that approaching antimicrobial use in animals and reducing it is something that potentially can benefit humans.

I think that's part of the federal government's strategy of prudent use of antibiotics, reduction in the use of antibiotics, surveillance in trying to figure how big a problem it is out there and then research and innovation, developing new tools.

We certainly know that on our next Growing Forward-3 or Ag Policy Framework-2 or what ever the new government is going to call the next research thrust under the cluster program that working at and developing, researching alternatives to antibiotics is one of our number 1 areas of emphasis.

Cressman suggests we need to encourage producers to use antibiotics where they are the most appropriate, at the right level, under the supervision of a veterinarian and look at ways to reduce their use and, through research and innovation, develop new tools for producers.