Reducing antimicrobial use on dairy farms: a practitioner experience

24 Nov 2017

In late 2015, the farm team at Friars Moor Livestock Health made a decision to improve responsible antimicrobial use on their dairy farms. In this article, Julian Allen and Jenny Bellini discuss their experiences of trying to reduce antimicrobial use.

THERE is a drive to reduce the amount of antimicrobials used on farm to try to tackle the rise of antimicrobial
resistance (AMR) worldwide. In their position statement on AMR, the British Cattle Veterinary Association recommends reducing the overall amount of antibiotics used in cattle practice, particularly use of the third- and fourthgeneration cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and colistin.

Additionally, the association recommends that prophylactic use of antibiotics is to be avoided wherever possible, without compromising animal welfare. Meanwhile, the British Veterinary Association’s overall aspiration is to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals and does not support the habitual use of prophylactic antibiotics.

For the farm team at Friars Moor Livestock Health, making the decision to improve responsible antimicrobial
use was motivated by the following:

  • They were increasingly aware of concerns about AMR raised in the veterinary press and general media, and
    they wanted to do the ‘right’ thing and move towards more responsible use.
  • Farmers were beginning to ask about antimicrobial use and AMR, particularly those with certain supermarket contracts. Additionally, some of the vets attended meetings on AMR with milk buyers, where concerns
    about antimicrobial use were raised.
  • Constructive discussions with neighbouring practices highlighted the need for change.
  • Younger, more recently educated vets often had different prescribing habits compared to older colleagues. They wanted to ensure consistent use of antimicrobials across the practice.

Download report to read more…

site powered by penguins
Farm Antibiotics