None of the trials that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority carried out on 826 pig cuts last year contained the feared MRSA bacterium that Norway has struggled to keep away for several years.
It is very pleasing, and shows that the fight against antibiotic resistance in agriculture is beneficial, said the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Ministry noted that if the bacterium settles in Norwegian pigs, it would have major and serious consequences.
“If MRSA is able to establish itself in agriculture, it will cost the health sector a large amount of money to combat infection annually. MRSA infects between pigs and humans, and if the bacterium finds its way to hospitals and nursing homes, it could have serious consequences for patients,” said Karen Johanne Baalsrud, director of plants and animal divisions at the Food Safety Authority.
Norway is the first country in the world to set a target of keeping the antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA away from piglets.
“This is really a happy message! Keeping pigs free from MRSA is an important measure for public health and an ambitious goal.
Targeted efforts from the industry, and cooperation with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority have shown results,” said Lars Petter Bartnes, chairman of Norway’s Farmers.
MRSA, or LA-MRSA, which is the full name, is a variation of antibiotic-resistant yellow staphylococcal bacteria that easily becomes established in animals.
Pigs that are infected with MRSA don’t get sick, but the bacteria can be transmitted to humans.
“The fight against MRSA is conducted every day. It requires endurance from farmers, and from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. Therefore, it is crucial that the farmer is confident that he or she will be helped, and that costs will be covered if MRSA infection is detected in the herd,” said the Farmers Union leader.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today