Vets urged to help farmers demonstrate low antibiotic use
Farm vets have been asked to help dairy, beef and sheep producers register their businesses on the AHDB-backed ‘Medicine Hub’ to show industry compliance on use of of antibiotics.
The British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) which is promoting the Hub made the call to action after the European Medicines Agency said UK farms have among the lowest use of these medicines in Europe, but while the pig, poultry and aquaculture sectors capture data for over 90% of production, dairy, beef and sheep producers have been slower to provide evidence of responsible use.
BVCA board member and vet, Rachel Hayton said: “We need to consider UK producers’ reputation and accountability, and meet new national antibiotic use targets agreed by vets and producers through the RUMA Targets Task Force in November 2026.
“We know both vets and farmers have been committed to raising the bar on responsible use of antibiotics – we want them to be able to prove this.”
In addition to meeting targets, UK farmers and vets need to consider EU rule changes, with member countries having to provide information on antibiotic use in cattle from 2023 and sheep from 2026.
“This will apply to Northern Ireland directly, but the other three nations indirectly too as they seek trade deals with the EU,” she added.
“Vets, as the prescribers and gatekeepers of antibiotics, have a huge role to play in this, which is why we’re asking cattle vets to step up now and be part of developing this hugely exciting platform. Knowing the whole industry is behind this should give vets and farmers alike a huge boost.”
The Medicine Hub is expected toeventually be able to offer anyone with antibiotic data the opportunity to benchmark their records against the national dataset.