Basic Guidelines of Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials in Pork Production for Pork Producers

The use of antimicrobials is beneficial both for the health of the animal and for human health. There is an increased awareness about how the use of antimicrobials affects bacterial resistance to these products. Pork producers must properly handle and administer antimicrobials if they are to maintain public trust and the availability and effectiveness of these products. The industrys Pork Quality Assurance Program is an example of the proactive approach the pork industry has taken to enable the production of a safe, quality product.




Use Judicious Use Guidelines (JUGs) to Contain Antibiotic Resistance


This checklist corresponds with the Basic Guidelines of Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials in Pork Production for Swine Practitioners. Use it as you consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your operation is using JUGs to contain antibiotic resistance and to help maintain the availability and effectiveness of these products.


Putting all the guidelines into practice in all pork production operations is essential to maintaining public trust and the timely, cost-efficient availability of effective products.


  • Everyone responsible for the care and husbandry of the operation’s pigs is a current Pork Quality Assurance Plus producer.
  • Preventive strategies, such as appropriate husbandry and hygiene, routine health monitoring and immunization are in place and practiced. (reference PQA PLUS GPP #1)
  • With the advice of the operation’s veterinarian, other therapeutic options are considered prior to using antimicrobial therapy.
  • When indicated, supportive care is used to replace or increase the effectiveness of antimicrobial treatment.
  • A valid Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) is in place (reference PQA PLUS GPP #2).
  • At some point in the decision making process, the operation’s veterinarian is consulted about the use of antimicrobials, including those available over-the-counter.
  • Prescription, Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) or extra-label use of antimicrobials is done only under the advice and direction of the operation’s veterinarian.

Written records of all treatments:

  • Are kept for at least 12 months following the marketing of the medicated animal
  • Are used to evaluate the success of a treatment regimen and include:
    1. Identity of the animal(s) medicated
    2. Date(s) of treatment
    3. Name of medication administered
    4. Who administered the medication
    5. Amount of medication administered
    6. Withdrawal time prior to slaughter
    7. Name of the veterinarian giving directions, if use is other than what is on the label
  • Any antimicrobial used in the feed is only used according to labeled directions.
  • Written feed mixing records are used to record feed medication use (reference PQA PLUS GPP #5).
  • A written antimicrobial treatment action plan has been developed with the advice of the operation’s veterinarian (reference PQA PLUS GPP #5).
  • The antimicrobial treatment action plan is regularly reviewed with the operation’s veterinarian to ensure it is up to date.
  • When antimicrobials are used, as per the advice of the operation’s veterinarian, they are used only for as long as needed to reach the desired clinical outcome.
  • Antimicrobial treatment is limited to ill or at risk animals.
  • Feeders and waters are properly adjusted so that when antimicrobials are delivered by these routes environmental contamination is minimized.


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