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Antimicrobial use in dairy cows decreasing, report reveals
All 1,002 dairy herds observed had a decline in antimicrobial use.

2023 saw the largest decrease in use for the past three years.

A recent report into antimicrobial use in dairy cows has shown a decreasing trend in use, with an average of 13.7 mg/kg PCU (population correction unit) used in 2023.

It also found a decline in antimicrobial use in 1,002 contributing dairy herds.

The Kingshay Antimicrobial Focus Report has been conducted annually since 2020, and records the antimicrobial use of dairy herds across the UK. The most recent report collected data from 1,002 dairy herds in the UK, to the year ending March 2023.

The results revealed that antimicrobial use had continued to decline year on year, with the latest statistics showing an average of 13.7 mg/kg PCU. This is the most significant decrease in three years.

In 2023, 52 per cent of herds managed to reduce their total antimicrobial use by an average of 7.4 mg/kg PCU compared to the previous year. This is an improvement on the 2021-2022 comparison, when 36 per cent of herds reduced usage by 5.9 mg/kg PCU.

This year’s report also identifies a decrease in total antimicrobial usage across all herds investigated, with the lowest 25 per cent quartile reducing their usage by an average of 3.64 mg/kg PCU.

These statistics have meant that all regions are currently sitting below the 2024 target of 17.9 mg/kg PCU.

The trends appear to confirm the findings of the Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Sales Surveillance 2022 report, which found that sales for food-producing animals have reduced by 59 per cent since 2014.

Dr Tim Potter, co-author of the report, said: “As we consider where we go from here it’s important to remember the target is not zero antimicrobial usage, antibiotics are a key medicine for the treatment of bacterial infections, and as such there will always remain a role for them in animal health,”

“Whenever we use antimicrobials, it’s important we do so in a targeted manner, and we continue with the focus on their responsible use to preserve their effectiveness for both animal and human health."

The full report can be found here.

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.