Antibiotic Benchmarking Offers Opportunity to Monitor, Manage Use on Pig Farms

4 November 2016, at 12:00a.m.

CANADA - A Veterinarian with Warman Veterinary Services says antibiotic benchmarking offers farms an opportunity to better monitor and manage their use of antibiotics, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The ability of antibiotic benchmarking to improve farm management will be among the topics discussed as part of the 2016 Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium slated for November 15 and 16 in Saskatoon.

Dr Henry Gauvreau, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with Warman Veterinary Services, explains antibiotic benchmarking is simply establishing a baseline of antibiotic use and can be used on any farm to determine and manage the level of antibiotic use.

Dr Henry Gauvreau-Veterinary Services:

The advantages for benchmarking are to establish a baseline of use for the various farms. Every farm is different as far as the use of antibiotics.

The process of benchmarking allows the farm to establish where its use of antibiotic is at in a standardised format so it can compare over time to its improvements.

By having a process to establish a benchmark, then they begin to understand where their use of various antibiotics is.

At this point antibiotic benchmarking is a new concept.

Relatively few farms have participated in the evaluation of their antibiotic usage.

There has been a few studies in Alberta and in Ontario where the benchmarking process was used but essentially it's a new process.

Dr Gauvreau acknowledges the hog industry has used production and financial benchmarking for years and the expansion into antibiotic benchmarking will be another aspect of improved management.