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Hogs Don’t Have Health Insurance: The Myth of Antibiotic Use


Missouri pork producer Chris Chinn, who serves as a Face of Farming & Ranching for U.S. Farmers& Ranchers Alliance, shatters the myth that hogs are regularly fed  antibiotics. In fact, the opposite is true on the family’s Clarence, MO, farm. An excerpt of her blog, published on CNN’s Eatocracy, for May 3, 2013, appears below.

“On our farm, it’s normal for us to have entire groups of pigs that never have had any antibiotics when they go to market. Yes, you read that correctly. I know this is not what you see on the Internet about how farmers use antibiotics. It seems everywhere you look, you can read or hear a very different story. I’m here to tell you this is a myth.

“I like to explain our antibiotic use like this: our hogs do not carry health insurance and all medications are expensive. We cannot afford to use antibiotics unless absolutely necessary to improve the quality of health for our animals. And we always use antibiotics under the guidance of our veterinarian. He decides what medication will be used when necessary and what dose will be used.

“So how do farmers use antibiotics? We have a healthcare plan for our hogs that is designed by our veterinarian. This means when we detect a hog might be sick or that a hog isn’t behaving normally, we call in our veterinarian and follow his advice on how to protect that animal and keep it healthy.

Antibiotics are just one of the tools we have in our toolbox; we don’t rely on them as part of our daily care plan. On our farm, we work hard to prevent problems from occurring, that’s why we are so strict about protecting our hogs’ environment.”

Read more of her blog.

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