Reared without antibiotics - The start of communication

I’m Aled Rhys Davies, the Managing Director of Pruex Ltd, and today am delighted to be cooking breakfast using a very special type of bacon. The Spoilt Pig brand is the first I know of, distributed by retailers, to claim the status of “Reared without Antibiotics”. The pigs used are kept to a high welfare standard with the aim of preventing infections and illness, so that the need to treat sick animals with antibiotics if the infection is bacterial is negated. Any animal that is treated with antibiotics at any stage of its life is marketed under a different brand. The Spoilt Pig brand therefore offers consumers choice in their purchases.

Within the United Kingdom, if an animal is sick as a result of a bacterial infection, then from a welfare and often a legal point of view, it is rightly treated with an antibiotic to stop it from suffering. The food chain is safe from Antibiotic residues due to strict testing protocols and withdrawal periods for antibiotic treated meat.

Todays fare includes, pork sausages, a fried egg, fried bread and tomatoes. Whilst the sausages might be from animals treated with antibiotics, I’m happy to eat them, as there won’t be antibiotic residues in them nor the egg to cause me any trouble. There is more chance of contracting infective bacteria, resistant or not to antibiotics, from raw meat than from cooked.

The reason I’m delighted to use the Spoilt Pig brand is that it’s a tangible start in the process of communicating to consumers the great work done in agriculture to limit Anti Microbial Resistance. The farms that supply pigs for other brands also work hard to ensure that their animals are not infected by disease causing bacteria. They go to great lengths to ensure the water their animals drink is clean of infective bacteria, their animals are well sheltered outside, or are housed in clean, spacious, well ventilated accommodation, and dedicate a large amount of time and effort towards ensuring their animals remain healthy. There is no chance of securing financial prosperity whilst farming sick animals. Agriculture as an industry needs to build on the example set by the Spoilt Pig brand, and look to further communicate good practice in husbandry and hygiene to consumers. Pruex look forward to helping in the process.

A note to Consumers:

  • Giving sick animals that are infected with disease causing bacteria an antibiotic is good. It constitutes Prudent as opposed to Excessive antibiotic use. It is Pruex.
  • Giving sick animals that are infected with a virus an antibiotic in not good. It is not Prudent use. It is not Pruex.
  • To limit Anti Microbial Resistance, that is, bacteria that are resistant to our medicines and cleaners, we all have to do our bit. We are all in this together, rich, poor, young, old, weak, strong, animals, humans.

Action for consumers:

  • If you have a sore throat, don't insist on an antibiotic from your doctor. He or she might inform you that your infection is caused by a virus. If they say it's bacterial, then use the antibiotic they prescribe. You will be Pruex.