Current anthelmintic and antibiotic use in UK Organic farming systems

CC Chylinski, Mark Borthwick, David Michie, Sarah Hathway, S Athanasiadou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort communication peer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The use of anthelmintic and antibiotic medicines is imperative to prevent the suffering of diseased stock in organic farming. However, their use must be minimised to comply with low input ideals and prevent the spread of resistance. Reducing such inputs first requires determining their current use, but information is lacking. The objective of this study was to benchmark the current use of anthelmintics and antibiotics in UK organic livestock farming. Methods: Data were gathered by conducting a national survey of organic livestock farmers in the UK and by analysing records of requests for allopathic medicines. Results: Key findings include (i) anthelmintics used in sheep constitute the greatest input of veterinary medicines in organic systems, (ii) farmers are incorporating alternative/support tools in helminth control to reduce anthelmintic requirements, (iii) the use of antibiotics is targeting individual animals, whereas the use of anthelmintics is targeting groups of animals. Conclusion: This study provides the first benchmark on the use of anthelmintics and antibiotics in UK organic livestock.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere947
JournalVeterinary Record
Early online date27 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 27 Sep 2021

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