Free sheep flock antibiotics calculator released

A practical tool for calculating flock-level antibiotics use has been launched for sheep farmers.

The University of Nottingham Sheep Antimicrobial Usage Calculator is an online programme aiming to measure antibiotics use to meet Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (Ruma) Alliance industry targets.

Designed by the University’s Ruminant Population Health Group, the programme shows usage in defined daily dose (DDD), defined course dose (DCD) and mg/PCU (population corrected unit).

Sheep industry Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance targets

  • Achieve a 10% reduction between 2016 and 2020
  • Reduce critically important antimicrobials by 50% by 2020
  • Increase foot-rot and abortion vaccination sales 5% a year between 2017 and 2021
  • Cut blanket antibiotics treatments in neonatal lambs by 10% each year between 2017 and 2021
  • Deliver knowledge exchange plan to develop strategies for certain “hotspot” issues

See also: Free antibiotic usage calculator launched dairy farmers

Measuring use

  • Mg/PCU = Mass of antibiotics used on farm in relation to overall mass of animals
  • Defined daily dose = Number of equivalent doses of antibiotic per animal of kg or livestock on the farm
  • Defined course dose = Number of equivalent courses of antibiotics per animal or kg on the farm

Data is inputted for specific farms and all antibiotics registered for use in sheep can be selected in drop down menus.

The tool is designed to estimate usage using standard European Medicine Agency methodology, using a standard weight for sheep for PCU calculations.

Visit the Sheep Veterinary Society website to download the calculator.