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City & Guilds champions responsible antibiotic usage 

13th Feb 2017 / By Alistair Driver

The importance of using antibiotics responsibly on farms is being championed by leading skills development body, City & Guilds. 

CityandGuildThe global skills leader has updated its Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines Certificate of Competence to reflect the growing awareness around the UK livestock sector of the need to respond to the antibiotic challenge. 

This qualification, which is open to anybody who works with agricultural livestock, helps ensure best practice is always followed while recognising the suitability of individuals to safely and effectively provide basic treatments. 

Following lengthy discussions with National Pig Association (NPA) vice chairman Richard Longthorp, City & Guilds has added new elements to the qualification. 

With an overarching emphasis on replacing, reducing, refining antibiotic usage to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance in farm animals and the human population, they cover: 

  • How antimicrobial resistance arises and spreads, and how to avoid it 
  • Avoiding routine use of antibiotics and ensuring they are not normally the first option 
  • Recognising the importance of diagnostics, biosecurity and good manage-ment in controlling disease 
  • Recognising when antibiotics are likely to be ineffective, for example against viruses and when resistance is present 
  • Why ‘critically important antibiotics’ should be used only as a last-resort. 

City & Guilds is now republishing its handbook to reflect the additional requirements and has informed its assessment centres of the changes. 

You can view our press release on this development here 

Mr. Longthorp, a Yorkshire farmer and strong advocate of developing effective training to deliver better outcomes on farms, welcomed the move. 

He said: “We are delighted the guidance has been updated. This means all people who work with livestock now have training and certification available to them that recognises the significant and growing challenge of using antibiotics responsibly. 

“The pig sector is already making great strides in rising to the challenge and this is yet another tool in the armoury to demonstrate our professional approach to safe and responsible use of veterinary medicines.” 

  • The Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines Certificate of Competence is an inde-pendently assessed City & Guilds/NTPC Level 2 Award covering all elements of administering veterinary medicine, including storage, transportation, dis-posal and record-keeping. For more information, click here