The industry’s new, Take Care – Use Antibiotics Responsibly program, is now available to all pork producers. The program was developed to guide producers and veterinarians on the responsible use of antibiotics to preserve animal health and protect public health.

The Take Care program consists of responsible use principles and guidelines intended to guide producers and veterinarians through an antibiotic needs assessment, along with appropriate use and disposal. 

The checkoff-funded program also incorporates the practices detailed in the industry’s Pork Quality Assurance program for the development of a herd health plan, a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship and more.

“This is an education and awareness program, not certification,” says Liz Wagstrom, assistant vice president of science and technology for the National Pork Board. “We want to get producers on the same page with defining what is responsible use of antibiotics. This program gives the pork industry a united, proactive front on the issue.”

The Take Care program was developed by pork producers on the National Pork Board’s Pork Safety Committee and the Pharmaceutical Issues Task Force. It also received input from the pharmaceutical and feed industries, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Pork Producers Council. 

 “As pork producers, we are concerned about more than what happens on our farms,” says Dave Culbertson, producer president of the National Pork Board. “Producers and their veterinarians can rely on this program’s content to help them decide when and how to use antibiotics and consumers can rely on our industry to provide safe, wholesome pork products.” 

National Pork Board