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Veterinary medicines
Tool to measure antimicrobial use on farms
  1. Robert Hyde,
  2. Martin Green,
  3. John Remnant,
  4. Peter Down,
  5. Jon Huxley,
  6. Peers Davies,
  7. Chris Hudson and
  8. James Breen
  1. Nottingham Dairy Herd Health Group, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington LE12 5RD; e-mail:

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ANTIMICROBIAL use in livestock continues to be a prominent topic in mainstream media and pressure to improve monitoring and reduce antimicrobial use is increasing across the livestock sector. The Government's response to the O'Neill report stated that Defra has committed to a reduction in antibiotic use in livestock and fish farmed for food, to a multispecies average of 50 mg/kg by 2018 (Department of Health 2016). There will be ongoing pressure to monitor and reduce antibiotic use at a farm and practice level.

A variety of ways of measuring antimicrobial usage exist, the most common being mg of antimicrobials used per kg of livestock (mg/PCU [population corrected unit]), defined daily dose (DDDvet) or defined course dose (DCDvet). The last two methods are effectively an estimation of doses or courses of an …

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