Evaluation of veterinary antimicrobial benchmarking systems in Europe

Amidst the growing pressure to reduce antibiotic (AB) use in livestock production, CIEL Member AgriSearch is seeking to develop a new, user-friendly system to capture antibiotic and vaccine use at animal and whole-farm level.

Such data offers potential for integration into the Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (NIFQAS) and Red Tractor food standards scheme and provides a strong platform upon which to base AMR policy decisions.

Development of the recording and monitoring system for use by commercial farms across NI will be a key outcome of the STAMP project (Strategic Antimicrobial use in dairy, beef and lamb production). The project is led by AgriSearch in partnership with the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Animal Health and Welfare Northern Ireland, the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland, and Farmvet Systems.

An important element of the project is a review of animal medicine usage benchmarking systems currently deployed in different countries, resulting in recommendations for the development of a simple “traffic light” system for farm business level AB usage.

Antimicrobial use (AMU) and the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is of increasing public health concern. Accurate AMU benchmarking can inform disease surveillance, highlight over-use, and inform animal health management plans to help reduce the threat of AMR. Benchmarking AMU also enables comparisons between farms, vets and countries and can help inform best practise to reduce AMU without compromising animal health and welfare.

The project team has now published findings of its review. Read the report “Evaluation of veterinary antimicrobial benchmarking systems in Europe: Implications for UK ruminant sector”.

The STAMP project is co-funded through DAERA’s Research Challenge Fund.