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 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,…


How Anglesey farmers have cut antibiotics at lambing by 60%

Sheep farmers on Anglesey have cut antibiotics use during lambing by almost 60% over a two-year period. By improving nutrition, hygiene, colostrum quality and management, a group of seven farmers…

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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…


Q&A: How cold plasma could reduce reliance on antibiotics

A cutting-edge laboratory investigating a new technology with the ability to reduce harmful chemicals and antibiotics in the food chain – and lessen the threat of anti-microbial resistance (AMR) –…

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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…


Farmers and vets unite to tackle cost of joint ill

Vets and farmers are uniting to combat joint ill on sheep farms by improving industry understanding of the disease through research and farm records. The working group Joint Ill Group…


How strict pig biosecurity can help to hit antibiotics targets

UK pig farmers are being urged to pay increased attention to biosecurity after a rise in swine dysentery cases last year slowed the reduction in antibiotics use. The Responsible Use…


US farm antibiotics use 'five times higher' than in UK

US livestock receive dosage levels of antibiotics more than five times higher than those used on UK farms, new research shows. Figures published in a report (PDF) by the campaign…

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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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