Maintaining antibiotics as an effective tool for animal and human health is important. Sheep farms generally use less antibiotics than other livestock farms. Nevertheless, M&S is encouraging its meat suppliers to continuously look at ways to further lower antibiotic use. Consequently, demonstrating how antibiotic use can be lowered is an objective of the Lamb Resilience project.
The chart shows the antibiotic usage of three farmers involved in trial. The AHDB calculator used expresses usage per kilogram of sheep. Most of the antibiotics used were injected, mainly; Allamycin, Pen and Strep and Ultrapen. Spectam was the only oral product used and Terramycin spray was the only topical product. Tylan powder would be the main antibiotic used in footbaths, yet none of the farmers used this.
Figure 1 Comparing antimicrobial use per PCU across the three farms. PCU stands for Population Controlled Unit which is shown per kg of sheep on farm and sold.
AHDB points to three areas where sheep farmers can reduce antiobiotic use;
- In the lambing shed to reduce watery mouth and joint ill.
- In controlling abortion (better to vaccinate).
- Footrot control.
See how you fare with the AHDB Beef and Lamb Antiobiotic calculator available here.