Livestock farmers and vets: views wanted on the use of on-farm anti-microbials

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute are calling on livestock farmers and vets in the UK to help develop a greater understanding of the use of on-farm anti-microbials.

It is widely believed that overuse and improper use of anti-microbials in livestock farming is contributing to the emergence and spread of anti-microbial resistance, causing a significant threat to global public health and food security.

Although human and animal health requires the use of anti-microbials, it has been estimated that two thirds of the future increase in anti-microbial use worldwide will be in animal production. Improving the management of anti-microbials in farm livestock is therefore a critical component of dealing with anti-microbial resistance whilst optimizing production in the livestock sector.

Researchers at the Institute, in association with 17 partners and multiple stakeholders from across Europe, are working together on an EU funded project called ROADMAP (“Rethinking of Anti-microbial Decision-systems in the Management of Animal Production”) to develop options for reducing anti-microbial use in consultation with farmers, vets, advisors and consultants at national, European and international levels.

Understanding these factors will enable efficient, context-adapted and socially acceptable innovations that stakeholders, producers and animal health professionals will be able to adopt and convert to large-scale market opportunities.

Carol Kyle, a research assistant at the James Hutton Institute’s Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences department, said: “Considering the experiences of both vets and farmers is crucial to better understanding the issues facing livestock farmers and finding practical, permanent way of reducing antimicrobial use.”

Two separate anonymous surveys have been created to compile a diverse spread of opinions and experiences. To gain a better understanding of farmer’s views UK livestock farmers, farm partners and farm employees are invited to complete a survey: There will be a £5 donation to farmers charities for each completed survey.

UK based vets are invited to complete a different survey, available here: £5 will be donated to Vetlife for every completed entry.

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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.