Jan. 1, 2017 is quickly approaching, and it will bring major changes in accessing medicated feed for livestock, including show pigs.

In the summer issue of the Pork Checkoff Report, the National Pork Board reminds youth swine exhibitors, parents and project advisors that antibiotics identified as medically important to human health will no longer be available for growth promotion purposes.

“If you have even one pig, this action applies to you,” said Jennifer Koeman, DVM, director of producer and public health for the Pork Checkoff. “Every antibiotic compound will be affected except for bacitracin, bambermycin, carbadox, iononphores and tiamulin.”

Using medically important antibiotics will be limited to prevention, treatment or control of a specific health challenge. Obtaining antibiotics will require a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR). Koeman advises VCPR specifics can vary by state, but the bottom line is a veterinarian must be involved.

“In other words, get to know your veterinarian on a first-name basis,” said Ernie Barnes, director of industry services for the Checkoff. “Your veterinarian needs to visit the site for each set of show pigs.”

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