News Article

Red Tractor changes - the use of antibiotics within farming

Monday, 4 June 2018 - 12:43pm


ANTIBIOTIC use within farming continues to be a topic with a lot of public and industry interest.

This has mainly been focussed on the use of antibiotics that have been classed as critically important due to their vital role in human medicine.

Meaning these are the only remaining treatments for critical human problems like severe infections in children.

Their use should be therefore limited to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance developing to these antibiotics.

As of the first of this month Red Tractor Assured Food Standards updated requirements on antibiotic use have come into effect.

The main change is focussed on the use of the highest priority-CIAs.

Antibiotic classes included in this group are third and fourth generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and colistin.

This doesn’t mean we can’t use these medicines if necessary, but any use will have to be supported by testing that shows they’re the only ones that will work, so now is the time to start discussions with your vets and getting any necessary samples.

For most clients this will have very little impact as the vets have steadily reduced the use of HP-CIAs over the past few years.

In addition, there is now a recommendation that at least one person on a farm has attended training on the safe and appropriate use of medicines.

St Boniface Vets has run several very well received “Mastering Medicines” courses and have more dates in the diary.

As well as meeting the Red Tractor requirements these also help you use medicines more effectively and so more economically.

Ultimately, the ideal is to avoid needing to use medicines to treat sick animals by preventing problems through improved housing, management and vaccination.

For further details regarding the above, or the courses, please call St Boniface Vets on 01363 772860 (and select option 2 for Farm).