World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is celebrated each year between 18-24th November with the overarching slogan “Antimicrobials: Handle with CARE”. The aim is to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the “One Health” approach being used to address its effect on humans, animals, plants and the environment.
The campaign message this year is ‘Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance’ and will focus on the consequences of antimicrobial resistance, and demonstrate how the actions of individuals, families, professionals, and communities affect the spread of AMR among humans, animals and the environment. Everyone can be an Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness champion.
Once again Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA and Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Robert Huey are supporting WAAW to highlight the risk of AMR to the agricultural and environment sectors. Farmers can contribute to the “One Health” fight against AMR whilst simultaneously protecting and improving animal health and welfare and ensuring a sustainable future for farming.
The key WAAW message for the farming and environment sectors is ‘Antimicrobials: Handle with care’ as outlined in the attached farmer-focused advice leaflet produced by DAERA to highlight the key actions for all those caring for animals.
Could you reduce the use of antibiotics?
- Could the nutrition, husbandry and housing of your stock be improved in order to prevent diseases in the first place?
- What measures could you take to help prevent introducing diseases onto your farm from outside – how is your biosecurity?
- Do you use vaccinations where appropriate in order to prevent disease?
- Have you worked with your vet to produce a herd health plan?
- HOW RESPONSIBLE ARE YOU IN YOUR USE OF ANTIBIOTICS?
- When you see a sick animal do you discuss with your vet about whether antibiotic treatment is needed?
- Do you always ensure you are using an appropriate antibiotic and make sure you are administering it at the correct dose?
- Do you follow the “FIVE ONLY” rules to handle antimicrobials with care?
Have you considered introducing a Herd Health Plan on your farm?
CAFRE Workshops on Responsible Use of Antimicrobials on Farm
CAFRE continue to offer workshops on Responsible Use of Antimicrobials in Beef and Sheep, and Dairy Farms under the Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) programme. This training will help producers comply with Standard 2.3 of the NI Beef & Lamb FQAS standards.
Further details on the training courses available can be found at Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Development Group – CAFRE
Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance
The RUMA Alliance, as a unique initiative involving organisations representing every stage of the “farm to fork” process, aims to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines. RUMA has created comprehensive guidelines for the responsible use of antimicrobials (especially antibiotics) in livestock production. Sector specific guidelines are available for both farmers and vets covering the correct application of products and opportunities to reduce usage. Further information for different farming sectors can be found at
For more information on Antimicrobial Resistance take a look at these great sources