Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Best practice launched to support on-farm antibiotics

July 31, 2018 by  
Filed under Livestock

An ambitious training programme has been launched to encourage the responsible use of antibiotics  in farmed livestock.

The Animal Medicines Best Practice (AMBP) Programme gives farmers and vets access to new resources, enabling a coordinated and consistent approach to farmer training in antibiotics. It was launched by the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) on 17 July.

Development of the programme has been led by NOAH in partnership with stakeholders from across the industry. Participants include the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, retailers and academics.

The goal was to create a robust and trusted training programme for all those working in the sheep, dairy, beef and pig sectors. The programme also aims to raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Online learning

Training modules for farmers are available via the NOAH website or directly through an online Lantra eLearning platform. Vets will also be to access resource materials, enabling them to deliver training to their clients. This veterinary resource centre will follow soon.

NOAH chair Gaynor Hillier said: “This new collaborative, cross-sector strategy on training will support both farmers and vets, demonstrating that our farmers have the skills to use antibiotics responsibly, providing reassurance to consumers and policy makers.”

Ms Hillier said there was a clear demand from the food supply chain for appropriate training. The programme provided materials that would satisfy both supply chain and farm assurance requirements, including Red Tractor recommendations.

Praise for farmers

Defra minister Lord Gardiner said: “The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance. Recent statistics show there has been a 27% drop in use of antibiotics in food-producing animals in the UK since 2014 – meeting a government commitment two years early.”

He added: “Our farmers and vets must be commended for driving down antibiotic use in livestock to this all-time low – setting an excellent example for others around the world to follow. But it is vital we continue making progress.

“We welcome this new responsible use of antibiotics farmer training programme, which will support the animal medicines industry to take another positive step towards tackling resistance, safeguarding antibiotics for future generations.”

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