New training programme to promote responsible use of antibiotics
18th Jul 2018 / By Alistair Driver
A new training programme has been launched to support the responsible use of animal medicines on farms.
The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has launched its new Animal Medicines Best Practice (AMBP) Programme at the House of Lords on Tuesday. The NPA has warmly welcomed the initiative.
NOAH has led the development of the AMBP Programme in partnership with a working group of stakeholders from across the industry including farmers, vets, the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA), the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and leading academics. The aim has been to create a 'robust and trusted training programme' for all those working in the pig, sheep, dairy and beef sectors.
The training programme gives farmers and vets access to new resources, enabling a coordinated and consistent approach to farmer training in the responsible use of antibiotics. It will raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and help drive best practice in a consistent manner across UK farms when it comes to using antibiotics.
In addition to the direct farmer offering, vets will also be to access resource materials, enabling them to deliver training to their clients. This veterinary resource centre will follow soon.
NOAH chair Gaynor Hillier said: “We know that there is a real demand for this type of accessible training and we’re delighted to be able to lead the way in making it available. This new collaborative, cross-sector strategy on training will support both farmers and vets, demonstrating that our farmers have the skills to use antibiotics responsibly, providing reassurance to consumers and policy makers.
“NOAH is happy to be building on existing antibiotic stewardship achievements within the farming sector as ensuring best practice is vital to safeguard the future efficacy of antibiotics for us all.”
Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner said: “The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance. Recent statistics show there has been a 27% drop in use of antibiotics in food-producing animals in the UK since 2014 – meeting a government commitment two years early.
“Our farmers and vets must be commended for driving down antibiotic use in livestock to this all-time low – setting an excellent example for others around the world to follow. But it is vital we continue making progress.
“We welcome this new responsible use of antibiotics farmer training programme, which will support the animal medicines industry to take another positive step towards tackling resistance, safeguarding antibiotics for future generations.”
NPA senior policy advisor Georgina Crayford said: "This is a really important step forward and it is great to see the industry unite behind this. Proper training of farmers and their staff in using animal medicines responsibly is an important step in ensuring the industry meets the antibiotic challenge."
RUMA chairman Gwyn Jones added: “The AMBP Programme will provide an excellent resource for farmers and vets alike. Training plays a crucial role in supporting best practice to ensure that antibiotics, as a shared human and animal resource, remain effective and available for all into the future.”
Elizabeth Andoh-Kesson, the British Retail Consortium's food policy advisor, said: “There is a clear demand from the food supply chain for appropriate training, and this initiative has developed valuable consistent, industry-recognised materials to address both supply chain and farm assurance requirements, such as the new Red Tractor recommendation.”