Safe use of veterinary medicine guidelines have been updated to reflect growing awareness of antibiotics in the UK livestock sector.City & Guilds, a leading body in skills development, has updated its Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines Certificate of Competence following lengthy discussions with the National Pig Association.With an emphasis on replacing, reducing, refining antibiotic usage to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance in farm animals and the human population, they cover how antimicrobial resistance arises and spreads, and how to avoid it as well as avoiding routine usage. NSA vice chairman Richard Longthorp said: "We are delighted the guidance has been updated. "This means all people who work with livestock now have training and certification available to them that recognises the significant and growing challenge of using antibiotics responsibly. "The pig sector is already making great strides in rising to the challenge and this is yet another tool in the armoury to demonstrate our professional approach to safe and responsible use of veterinary medicines."'Excellent progress'Long-term targets for reducing and refining antibiotic usage are in the process of being developed for the UK livestock sectors, under the leadership of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) alliance. In further positive news for the pig sector, uptake for the eMB-Pigs database, which records antibiotic usage on farms, has increased significantly during the early part of 2017. The latest figures from AHDB Pork show data covering 36 per cent of UK production is now on the system, almost double the figure recorded before Christmas. Red Tractor Assurance has confirmed that recording antibiotic usage data on eMB-Pigs on a quarterly basis will become a requirement of the Red Tractor pork scheme later this year. NPA senior policy advisor Georgina Crayford said: "Our Antibiotic Stewardship Programme sets out a holistic approach to addressing the antibiotic problem that puts education and recording of data to the fore, alongside practical means to reduce usage on farms. "These latest developments highlight the excellent progress being made across the pig supply chain."