A UK vet addresses that dairy farmers and vets in the UK should aim to stop using critically important antibiotics (CIAs) in herds by 2020 in order to prevent the increase in antimicrobial resistance.
Farmers Weekly reports that David Barrett, Professor of bovine medicine, production and reproduction at the University of Bristol, says it is possible to stop the use of CIAs in herds, without having an impact on production.
A study at Bristol University’s farm animal vet practice found that by implementing a health plan and using it to continually refine and improve cow health and medicine use, they were able to rapidly phase out the use of CIAs on dairy farms.
Cephalosporins are often used in dairy herds for treatment of mastitis and other diseases, due to zero milk withdrawal. However, they are categorised as CIAs by the World Health Organisation as they are most important to human health. CIAs include fluoroquinolones and third and fourth generation cephalosporins.
Prof Barrett stressed the need for dairy farms to remain profitable and there were three things that farmers should focus on:
• Employ optimised husbandry systems
• Don’t rely on prophylactic use of antimicrobials i.e. in footbaths
• Do not use CIAs
Source: Farmers Weekly
Emmy Koeleman studied Animal Sciences at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She is the editor of Dairy Global and All About Feed.