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Taking up the challenge of antimicrobial usage targets in Northern Ireland

Government and industry partners in Northern Ireland have banded together to develop the STAMP project to help meet the UK national targets for farm animal antimicrobial usage. BVA NI Branch Junior Vice President Aurelie Moralis explores this great opportunity for the veterinary profession to ensure appropriate use of antibiotics.

Increasing pressure to reduce antibiotic use in livestock production has brought government and industry partners in Northern Ireland together to take on a new challenge: the STAMP project (Strategic Antimicrobial use in dairy, beef and lamb Production). This project will be invaluable to Northern Ireland farmers and processors in meeting the UK national targets for farm animal antimicrobial usage.

On 29th June Alan Gordon (BVA NI Branch President) and I attended the STAMP stakeholder forum which was set up to ensure that the project works alongside other government and industry initiatives in this area.

Who is involved?

STAMP is co-funded by DAERA under the Challenge Research Fund and is operating under the lead of AgriSearch, with Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)in charge of the research. AgriSearch’smission is to drive profitability and sustainability based on sound science and widely applied research, whilst AFBI are a world- renowned research centre focussed on advancing animal science and improving livestock farming.

The additional industry partners are Animal Health and Welfare Northern Ireland (AHWNI), Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) and Farm Vet Systems Ltd (VetIMPRESS).

How will the STAMP project be rolled out and what are the expected outcomes?

The project will focus on capturing and benchmarking antibiotic usage at farm level with minimal producer input. A pilot will be rolled out with 2 veterinary practices and several farms and will form the basis to capture feedback from the vets and farmers involved.

In parallel to this two case studies will be rolled out at the AFBI Hillsborough research farm; one on Selective Dry Cow Therapy and one on calf rearing. These will be followed by the development of a simple-to-use decision making supporting tool for producers in these two case study areas.

The outcome of the project will be the development of a recording system for antimicrobial and vaccine use on commercial farms which will provide a strong platform upon which to base AMR policy decisions in the future. Furthermore, the decision support tool developed on dry cows and calves will be integrated into AHWNI’s future disease control strategies.

How is the BVA Northern Ireland branch involved?

We’re excited to be members of the STAMP stakeholder forum, and Alan and I will attend two meetings per year with the next one taking place in November.

This is a great opportunity for the veterinary profession to provide some real leadership on ensuring appropriate use of antibiotics whilst improving animal health, welfare and profitability of livestock. If you would like to learn more about the STAMP Project or share your thoughts on how to reduce antimicrobial usage, you can contact your representatives directly on [email protected]

Increasing pressure to reduce antibiotic use in livestock production has brought government and industry partners in Northern Ireland together to take on a new challenge: the STAMP project (Strategic Antimicrobial use in dairy, beef and lamb Production). This project will be invaluable to Northern Ireland farmers and processors in meeting the UK national targets for farm animal antimicrobial usage.

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