In keeping with its commitment to address antibiotic-related issues, the National Pork Board on Monday released a new infographic designed to help consumers understand how pig farmers use antibiotics.
"As pig farmers, we work closely with veterinarians to make sure we're using antibiotics only when necessary for the health and well-being of our animals," said Derrick Sleezer, NPB president. "We're also committed to protecting human health, and we understand the importance of using tools such as antibiotics responsibly to ensure food safety."
In addition to updating and expanding its Pork Quality Assurance Plus program, which certifies that farmers know the latest information about how to practice responsible antibiotic use, the National Pork Board says it wants to demystify antibiotics for consumers.
"We realize that today's consumers want to know how their food is produced and that it's safe for their families," Sleezer said. "This is why we're reaching out and telling people how we keep animals healthy to produce safe food. This infographic is one way we will achieve that goal."
The National Pork Board also has other antibiotic initiatives coming, including an independent blue-ribbon panel to discuss the issue and to help prioritize research and producer education programs. The panel also will identify opportunities for improvement in current antibiotic practices and offer guidance in how to improve antibiotic stewardship in the pork industry.
"The role antibiotics play in pig farming is often misunderstood," said Chris Hodges, NPB CEO. "That's why we work closely with various groups in the food chain and why we're reaching out to consumers with information about how antibiotics are used on the farm. It's all part of our responsibility to build consumer trust in pork production."