Vaccinating pigs against disease has a vital role to play in limiting the routine use of antibiotics in global livestock production, says a leading animal scientist.
Dr. John Harding of Canada’s University of Saskatchewan said vaccines have the potential to improve herd health across the world, while helping to address concerns about antimicrobial use and resistance in livestock, writes The Pig Site.
Speaking at the 2016 Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium, Harding said serious pig diseases such as porcine circovirus type 2 and mycoplasma were now successfully managed by vaccination.
And while vaccines were not a silver bullet in managing disease, he believes there is a direct link between vaccine use and antibiotic use.
“Essentially it’s inverse,” he said. “It means the more vaccine one uses, the likelihood is that fewer drugs will be used either on a mass preventative basis or injection of individual pigs.”
As well as taking preventative measures through vaccination, Harding said producers could also limit disease risks by assessing their farms and ensuring they had good production systems in place.
Good on-farm management would also help with disease control, he added.