The Black Farmer cuts antibiotics in its pork

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Black Farmer is cutting antibiotics from a range of its pork cuts
The Black Farmer is cutting antibiotics from a range of its pork cuts

Related tags: Meat, Antibiotic resistance, Bacteria

Gluten-free sausage brand The Black Farmer is to launch a range of pork products using pork raised without antibiotics, the first mainstream brand to do so, it claimed.

The company has worked closely with partner farms to establish farming and production methods in response to the rising resistance to antibiotics. The products could be identified by a blue tag.

Sows are free to roam outside and are only fed vegetarian food, a system that guaranteed piglets were born outdoors and reared without the use of antibiotics from birth, claimed the company.

It claimed such a high level of welfare meant there would be a constant supply of healthy, natural pig meat.

Unnecessary use of antibiotics

Black Farmer owner Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones said the move was prompted by the overuse and unnecessary use of antibiotics in the industry, which has spread the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR is the ability of bacteria, viruses, and some parasites to stop an antimicrobial – such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials – from working against it, according to the World Health Organisation. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.

“Unbeknown to the consumer, pork rearing involves the blanket use of antibiotics,” ​he claimed. “The farming industry will tell us that it is in the best interest of the animals and I for one don’t want to see animals suffer unnecessarily. If they need antibiotics, they should be given them.” 

Growing trend of consumers

There has been a growing trend of consumers wanting meat that has not been inoculated with antibiotics, said Jones, just as there were consumers who preferred their meat to be reared to organic standards or within RSPCA approved guidelines. 

“The consumer has been fantastic at pushing our industry into improving farming practices, making this country’s animal welfare standards some of the best in the world,” ​added Jones.

“Raised without antibiotics is another step in that direction. I am glad to be the first to market with this concept in pork cuts.”

Meanwhile, poultry processor Faccenda Foods has cut its antibiotic use by 70%​ over the past two years, after new evidence from the European Food Safety Authority found its use increased the risk of AMR.

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