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Protecting critically important antimicrobials

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By Matthew Limb

Vets will be playing a key role applying new requirements regarding the use of antibiotics on farms as part of efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

Changes to the Red Tractor Assurance livestock and dairy standards took effect on 1 June.

Now, beef, lamb and dairy units registered under the scheme must use highest priority critically important antibiotics (HPCIAs) as a ‘last resort’ under the direction of a vet, backed up by sensitivity or diagnostic testing.

The BVA has backed the measure citing its ‘crucial role’ in tackling the serious issue of antimicrobial resistance.

BVA president John Fishwick said: ‘Whenever possible the decision to use critically important antibiotics should be based on a sensitivity or diagnostic test but, if the situation is such that action needs to be taken immediately to protect animal health and welfare, it may be necessary to administer this group of antibiotics alongside running the tests.’

The Red Tractor scheme covers animal welfare, food safety, …

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