The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has launched the Animal Medicines Best Practice (AMBP) Programme to support the responsible use of antibiotics across UK farms.

The programme gives farmers and veterinary surgeons access to new resources, enabling a coordinated and consistent approach to farmer training in the responsible use of antibiotics.

The development of the AMBP Programme has been led by NOAH in partnership with a group of stakeholders from across the industry including farmers, vets, the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA), the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and leading academics, to create a training programme for all those working in the sheep, dairy, beef and pig sectors.

NOAH says the programme will raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and help drive best practice in a consistent manner across UK farms when it comes to using antibiotics.

Training modules are available for farmers to access via the NOAH website or directly through an online Lantra eLearning platform.

In addition to the direct farmer offering, veterinary surgeons will also be to access resource materials, enabling them to deliver training to their clients. This veterinary resource centre will follow soon. 

NOAH Chair, Gaynor Hillier, said: "We know that there is a real demand for this type of accessible training and we’re delighted to be able to lead the way in making it available.

"This new collaborative, cross-sector strategy on training will support both farmers and vets, demonstrating that our farmers have the skills to use antibiotics responsibly, providing reassurance to consumers and policy makers. NOAH is happy to be building on existing antibiotic stewardship achievements within the farming sector as ensuring best practice is vital to safeguard the future efficacy of antibiotics for us all.”

Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner said: 

"The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance. Recent statistics show there has been a 27 per cent drop in use of antibiotics in food-producing animals in the UK since 2014 - meeting a government commitment two years early. 

"Our farmers and vets must be commended for driving down antibiotic use in livestock to this all-time low - setting an excellent example for others around the world to follow. But it is vital we continue making progress.

"We welcome this new responsible use of antibiotics farmer training programme, which will support the animal medicines industry to take another positive step towards tackling resistance, safeguarding antibiotics for future generations."

Photo: Lord Trees introduced the launch event and outlined his support for the AMBP programme.

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