Know How / Medicines

News and advice on the responsible use of livestock medicines, including antibiotics, wormers and vaccination. See best practice on medicine use to help avoid resistance to antibiotics and wormers and see how other farmers have reduced antibiotics successfully on their farms.

Advice and tips


4 ways Sweden has cut antibiotics use on dairy farms

UK livestock producers have been committed to – and successful in – meeting government targets on antibiotic usage over recent years, but Sweden is still leading the way. A 2017…


Tips on evaluating your dairy vet spend

Chatting with a neighbour about vet costs can result in a frantic dash to change vets or cut medicine costs because yours are “too high” in comparison, but that reaction…


5 steps to reduce antibiotics use in your pig herd 

Having a low level of antibiotics use of 1mg/population-corrected unit (PCU) – compared with the industry average of 131 mg/PCU (2017) – may seem like a hard task, but for…


How MilkSure training helps cut medicine milk failures

About three farms in Britain have a bulk tank milk antibiotics failure every day. It is illegal to sell milk from an individual cow that has medicine residues above the…

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Case studies


7 ways a sheep farmer has cut antibiotics use

The use of wood shavings in lambing pens has put an end to blanket use of antibiotics against watery mouth at lambing and is part of an overall strategy which…


Sheep farmer abolishes foot-rot in a year through vaccination

Lameness in sheep is not only detrimental to the animal’s health, but has repercussions on performance and profits, estimated to cost £89.80 a case. Government targets from the Farm Animal…


Thermal imaging cuts antibiotics use on Northants beef farm

Livestock manager George Coles thinks thermal imaging is set to become a must-have for all farmers and could help reduce antibiotics use by enabling rapid disease detection and treatment. Mr…


How a farmer tackled watery mouth without antibiotics

Shropshire sheep and beef farmer James Evans was concerned about the effect the routine use of antibiotics, used to tackle disease at lambing, was having on the health of his…

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Sector-specific antibiotics targets and what they mean

Sector-specific targets surrounding antibiotics use have been developed by a “targets taskforce” made up of farmers and vets and facilitated by the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance. Targets vary for…


How sheep colostrum trials are helping to reduce antibiotics

Trials are comparing two lamb blood tests in a bid to reduce antibiotics use on farms through optimising ewe nutrition and health.  A series of farm studies has compared refractometer tests…


How the sheep industry plans to reduce antibiotics use

Sheep industry bodies are collecting data on the sector’s antibiotics usage to help develop a strategy that promotes best practice and cuts the risk of developing drug resistance. Worldwide concern about…


Antibiotics reports spark debate in farm industry

Campaigners pushing for a dramatic reduction in farm antibiotics use have set out a series of recommendations that they claim would reduce consumption in the dairy, pig and poultry sectors.…

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Farmers urged to plan parasite control now for grazing season

Sheep and cattle farmers are being reminded that January is the ideal time to plan and review the farm’s parasite control strategy ahead of the coming grazing season. Such preparation…


Vaccine use rises while antibiotic use falls in cattle

The number of vaccine doses sold for use in cattle increased by 15% between 2011 and 2017, according to a new report. The report, published by the AHDB, coincides with…


Vets fear shortages of staff and medicines after Brexit

Concerns over staff and animal medication availability, and customs delays post-Brexit are plaguing the vet sector, according to a report. In September the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) asked…


European Parliament votes to ban routine farm antibiotics use

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a ban on the routine use of antibiotics in farming. While the decision still needs formal approval from the Council of Ministers,…

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Sanderson Farms says antibiotic-free chicken is a ‘gimmick’

US poultry integrator Sanderson Farms has said it will not phase out antibiotics from its farms, taking a position that runs contrary to many other similar companies in the USA.…


Farmers warned over flukicide resistance

A rise in liver fluke cases and resistance to products is proving a headache for many farmers across the UK. Scottish upland sheep and suckler cow producer Neil Gourlay, who…

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