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


7 tips to help improve mastitis treatment

Dairy farmers should review and tighten mastitis treatment programmes, as figures show poor cure rates on UK farms, according to vet Kath Aplin. Speaking at a webinar on mastitis, Ms…


Coronavirus: Advice for vets and farmers

Vets and farmers have been included on the list of key workers, published by the government amid the coronavirus pandemic. This means farm animals are still able to receive care…


How to dry off cows to treat mastitis successfully

Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue, and is a major endemic disease of dairy cattle. It usually occurs as an immune response to bacterial invasion…


4-step guide to reviewing antibiotics use on your farm

For livestock farmers signed up to the Red Tractor Assurance scheme, an annual review of antibiotics use is required to meet assurance criteria. Vet Tim Potter from the VetPartners group…

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Case studies


How a dairy farm is controlling mycoplasma using vaccination

Mycoplasma bovis is the number one cause of pneumonia in calves in the UK as well as causing mastitis and arthritis in older animals. It is difficult to treat and…


How a farmer is using minimal antibiotics in his dairy herd

Tim Downes has been farming with minimal antibiotics for the past six years at his two dairy farms in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Having been in organic production for 20 years, Mr…


How one sheep farmer eliminated watery mouth and joint ill

Matthew Isaac has reduced cases of watery mouth and joint ill at lambing to nothing by using good bacteria to keep infections at bay.   Mr Isaac, who runs a…


How a farmer slashed milking times and improved udder health

A Shropshire dairy farmer has cut milking times by two hours a day, improved udder health and reduced antibiotics use by making small tweaks to his parlour settings. Robert Mayer,…

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Survey highlights pig health worry ahead of zinc oxide ban

Weaning can be a stressful time for piglets and, when not managed correctly, can predispose them to conditions such as post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD). Zinc oxide has traditionally been fed after…


How scanning can detect early pneumonia in calves

Subclinical pneumonia, where there are no obvious signs of the disease, in young calves is going undetected on farms, a Scottish study has found. Calves are more likely to succumb…


Tackling IBR - non-marker versus marker vaccines

Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) is a highly contagious, respiratory disease that can affect cattle of all ages. It is possible to protect herds using either a non-marker or marker vaccine.…


How a farmer-led project helps dairies reduce antibiotics use

Antibiotics are a hot topic on dairy farms across the UK, with many producers working to cut their use to meet government or milk contract targets. While many of these…

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Europe reduces farm antibiotics sales by one-third

New figures show that across Europe, sales of antibiotics for farm animals reduced by more than a third between 2011 and 2018. The 2018 report from the European Surveillance of…


Warning over long-term shortage of mastitis antibiotics

A shortage of two of the UK’s most popular antibiotic mastitis treatments is set to continue into 2021, veterinary experts have warned. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) said issues that…


Scottish sheep farmers asked to help with antibiotics survey

Scottish farmers and vets are being asked to take part in a survey that aims to establish the amount of antibiotics used in the sheep industry in Scotland. Last year,…


Sheep farmers failing to implement good lameness control

Sheep farmers need to focus on all parts of the FAI Farms Five-Point Lameness Plan if the target to reduce the national incidence to 2% or less by 2021 is…

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Video: Correctly injecting cattle – a five-step guide

A good injection technique prevents damage to valuable carcass cuts and reduces the risk of injury to livestock and the handler. If an injection is administered incorrectly or with a…


Antimicrobial resistance: How it works and why it's important

Antimicrobial resistance, and specifically antibiotics resistance, are high on the agenda for animal agriculture and veterinary medicine. Government and industry targets have been set for antibiotics reduction and antibiotics use is…


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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