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Dairy group to deliver on antibiotic targets
The dairy stewardship group brings together farming, veterinary, processing and support functions.

Group will deliver objectives through ‘Targets Task Force’ initiative

A new dairy stewardship group has been launched to deliver on a range of antibiotic targets due to be announced later this year.

Bringing together farming, veterinary, processing and support functions, the Dairy Antimicrobial Stewardship Group aims to identify the responsibilities and actions required of different organisations to achieve the targets and monitor progress.

The group will develop its objectives through the 'Targets Task Force’ initiative, which was set up by RUMA to meet the government’s target for farm antibiotic use of 50mg/kg by 2018.

The 'Targets Task Force' aims to identify meaningful objectives for reducing, refining and replacing antibiotic use at farm level, with targets due to be announced at the RUMA conference on October 27.

The dairy group, chaired by Di Wastenage, Devon dairy farmer and council member for the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF), will feed back its progress to RUMA as work progresses.

“Antibiotic use is of growing importance given concerns over antibiotic resistance. The formation of the group is important to deliver the strategy and will ensure the dairy sector is well-placed to reach its targets,” said Mrs Wastenage.

“Reducing the use of antibiotics must not compromise the health and welfare of dairy cows either, which is why a responsible approach to this challenge is needed.The strategy will also be an opportunity to improve the health and welfare of the dairy herd, and to raise productivity.”

She adds that special training for vets and farmers will be key to achieving the group’s goals, equipping both professions to join forces on responsible use.

“I’d like to thank all the organisations that have committed to participate in the group. The broad level of representation shows how important the issue is to the industry and I look forward to working with them over the next few years,” Mrs Wastenage adds.

The Dairy Antimicrobial Stewardship Group consists of: AHDB, Arla Foods, British Cattle Veterinary Association, Dairy UK, Lactalis, Livestock Auctioneers Association, National Milk Records, National Office for Animal Health, RABDF, Red Tractor, RUMA and the UK farming unions – National Farmers Union of Scotland, Farmers Union of Wales, NFU England and Wales, Ulster Farmers Union.

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Classroom pets on the decline

News Story 1
 New research has found there are fewer pets in UK classrooms than in previous generations - despite 88 per cent of parents believing it significantly helps a child’s social skills and development.

More than half of the parents surveyed by Pets at Home (51 per cent) had a class pet as a child, compared to 46 per cent of children today.

The survey also found that non-traditional animals such as chickens, tadpoles, caterpillars and stick insects are becoming increasingly popular alternatives as classroom pets.  

News Shorts
BVA survey seeks views on surveillance

Vets who use veterinary scanning surveillance networks are being asked to complete a survey to help ensure the networks are fully able to protect animals in the UK.

‘Surveillance use, understanding and engagement across the veterinary profession’ is the first of a series of surveillance surveys that will also include localised surveys for Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Drafted by members of BVA’s Surveillance Working Group, it will run until Friday, 31 August 2017. Data collected will inform BVA’s policy position ensuring it is representative of disease surveillance across the UK.