Today the press has been filled with articles on findings from a new report commissioned by the Prime Minister about antibiotics in livestock.
The report has revealed that the use of antibiotics in agriculture outweighs the use in human medicine. Furthermore, The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance warns the use of antibiotics in agriculture is contributing to drug resistance.
The significant risk of resistance occurring is where a course of antibiotics is routinely administered to livestock: a practice that is typical in factory farming, where farmers need to overcome the higher disease risk of intensive, high density stocking rates.
But with organic systems such as our farm at Daylesford we have lower stocking rates and take active measures to reduce the risk of disease building up. We aim to produce healthy animals without routine intervention with antibiotics – and only in the rare event of an animal becoming unwell do we administer a course of antibiotics, as a last resort, and in that instance it is to maintain our levels of high animal welfare.
To learn more about farming with less antibiotics please keep an eye on the Agricology website, which will be considering the subject in detail. www.agricology.co.uk