Livestock farmers urged to use correct injection sites

Farmers may be losing money by incorrectly injecting livestock and damaging carcase value, a survey carried out by AHDB Beef & Lamb has revealed.

At last month’s Beef Expo event, organised by the National Beef Association (NBA), AHDB Beef & Lamb invited farmers to its stand to demonstrate where they would inject their livestock. The interactive exhibit showed that an overwhelming amount of participants indicated incorrect injection sites, which can lead to formation of lesions.

With six per cent of beef carcases slaughtered in the UK estimated to have injection site lesions, farmers could be facing large financial losses as the lesion and surrounding tissue must be trimmed out by the abattoir before being weighed. Bad practice could also be reducing the quality of the meat, as well as leading to animal welfare implications.

Katie Thorley, AHDB Beef & Lamb Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager, said: “Producers could be losing money, simply by not injecting in the correct place. Injections should be carried out in the neck of the animal, where the less valuable cuts are located, as well as in a dry and clean area.”

When medicines are required, use as little as possible but as much as necessary, and read the product datasheet. This guidance falls in line with the government’s aim to reduce antibiotic usage by 20 per cent by 2018.

“It’s also best practice to replace needles as frequently as possible to reduce the risk of abscesses forming. If injecting a large number of animals, the same needle may be used for up to 10 animals and then must be changed,” Katie said.

For more information, see the AHDB Beef & Lamb’s manual Using medicines correctly for Better Returns, which can be found on the AHDB Beef & Lamb website.


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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.