While the sector set a target of reducing use by 20% from an estimated baseline of 26.2 mg/kg in 2016 to 21 mg/kg in 2020, as detailed in the 2016 Targets Task Force report, lack of data meant this could not be measured.
Recognising the significant issues with data collection, work was undertaken in the cattle and sheep sectors to explore what a similar industry tool to the electronic-Medicine Book for pigs could look like for their respective industries. Following an initial pilot project with cattle in 2018, a second phase of work on a Medicines Hub was commissioned, this time for both cattle and sheep data. The aim is to capture: national sector level reporting of antibiotic use in line with ESVAC methodology; farm level data for identification of trends in how antibiotics are being used and to facilitate benchmarking within and between farms. The Medicine Hub is being launched by AHDB in January 2021.
However, the sector also aimed to halve HP CIA use between 2016 and 2020, reduce use of intra-mammary dry cow products by 20% and lactating cow products by 10% 2015-2020, all of which were achieved by 2019.
For more detail on the dairy sector targets which have been achieved, and new targets including national data collection, please refer to the Targets Task Force Report 2020
For case studies, inspiration and technical tools to help farmers and vets reduce, replace or refine antibiotic use, visit the Ideas Hub.