New antibiotics usage survey seeks sheep farmers’ views

Farmers and vets are being asked to take part in a survey which aims to establish the amount of antibiotics used in the Scottish sheep industry.

Last year, the Sheep Health and Welfare Group developed a set of metrics which could be used to benchmark farms and provide a national reporting figure on antimicrobial usage.

This survey has been developed by researchers at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) to inform discussions, both at industry and a national level, about the adoption and development of these metrics in Scotland.

Initially, it will investigate how feasible and practical it would be for sheep farmers and their vets to provide these core metrics.

Hannah Bishop, of SRUC’s Epidemiology Research Unit, said: “Although we know that overall antibiotic usage in the British sheep industry is not high, little is known about the exact quantities of antibiotics used in sheep flocks.

“This makes it difficult for the sheep industry to demonstrate that usage within the sector is low and to support claims that antibiotics are being used responsibly in sheep.

“This is becoming increasingly important both to facilitate trade and to meet statutory reporting requirements at a national level.”

The survey is aimed at sheep farmers and will take around 30 minutes to complete. A separate survey is being sent to large animal veterinary practices across Scotland.

The project has been funded by the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme 2016-2021, delivered through SEFARI.

For more information, or to complete the survey if you are a sheep farmer, visit:

Posted by SRUC on 22/09/2020

Tags: Research, Sheep
Categories: Research