Use Antibiotics Responsibly, Says NFU

UK - As the EU marked its annual European Antibiotic Awareness day on 18 November, the National Farmers Union (NFU) is reminding livestock keepers to use antibiotics in agriculture responsibly.
calendar icon 19 November 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

On farms, antibiotics are used in two ways: as individual treatments, or in group treatment for animals that are displaying symptoms, have come into close contact with sick animals, or are at high risk of contracting a disease.

All antibiotics for use in food-producing animals must be prescribed by a vet to animals under his or her care following a clinical assessment, and are supplied by a vet or pharmacist in accordance with the prescription.

NFU animal health and welfare adviser Catherine McLaughlin said: “The NFU and its farmer members recognise the threat to human and animal health of antibiotic resistance and we take the issue extremely seriously. The NFU is an active member of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) which promotes the responsible use of antibiotics. We believe that antibiotics should be used as little as possible, but as much as necessary to protect the health and welfare of animals.

“Antibiotic Awareness day provides an ideal opportunity for the NFU to remind livestock keepers using antibiotics to ensure they are doing so responsibly, which means only using antibiotics prescribed by your vet (and supplied by the vet or from an approved source under a veterinary prescription), and using the antibiotic in accordance with the instructions on the label. It is vitally important to give the full dose for the whole treatment period to avoid increasing the risk of resistance, and not using antibiotics as a substitute for good farm management.

“Following these simple steps on-farm will help ensure that animals remain fit and healthy and all medical issues are dealt with in the appropriate manner.”

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