The electronic Medicine Book for pigs is managed by the Animal and Horticultural Development Board – Pigs (AHDB-Pigs) – in conjunction with key industry players through an industry steering group, and with support from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).
It was launched in April 2016, and data for 2016 covers 62% of UK pig production. In the future, the amount of antibiotic usage data being added are set to increase as the use of eMB is now a requirement by the farm assurance schemes Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and, as of 11th November 2017, Red Tractor.

Data collection

Animal subcategoriesWhen collecting data, producers are asked to specify whether it has been given to a piglet, weaner-grower, finisher or breeding pig.

Input: Producers are responsible for uploading antibiotic data annually (as a minimum) or every quarter. This is obtained either from their own usage records and/or from data on drugs delivered (for example from veterinary practices).


The data is presented as the overall annual amount of antibiotic active ingredient used (in tonnes). This is then compared with the population at risk of treatment to create a mg/kg usage figure. The EMA PCU guidelines[1] are followed, assigning a weight of 65 kg for slaughter pigs and 240 kg for livestock sows.


Farms are not yet benchmarked. Benchmarking farms is planned for the beginning of 2018. The benchmarking metric is still being finalised, but will be calculated using a mg/kg measure based on the average number of sows and the number of animals leaving the farm for either slaughter or fattening.


Producers can see and download reports on their farm/ farm group’s usage data directly from eMB-pigs. With permission, this data is also available to their veterinary surgeon.