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First ‘superbug’ pig is found in the UK

A UK pig has contracted MRSA for the first time. The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, which we are a founding member of, is calling on the government to urgently take action to restrict antibiotic use on farms.

Alison Craig, Campaign Manager for the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics said: “The finding of MRSA in a UK pig has to kick-start the government into finally taking action against the overuse of antibiotics in farming.

“In the Netherlands, they have cut total farm antibiotic use by 63% in the last six years, whereas in the UK, use has actually gone up during that time.”

Livestock associated MRSA was first found in pigs in the Netherlands in 2004, and has become widespread in intensively farmed pigs, poultry and veal calves across Europe and in North America. But this is the first time a case has been confirmed in a pig in the UK.

This type of MRSA can spread to humans causing serious infections including blood poisoning, pneumonia and heart and bone infections.

Derek Butler, Chairman of MRSA Action UK and who has lost three family members to MRSA, said: “This is no surprise to MRSA Action UK. We have to understand that bacteria know no boundaries between countries, animals or people.

“We are sitting on a time bomb waiting to explode. Sooner or later bacteria will transfer from animals to humans causing infections.”

Take action

The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics has launched a petition with 38 Degrees which more than 29,000 people have signed. Please sign and share the petition if you haven’t already.