The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) has announced plans to host a further series of workshops on using antimicrobials responsibly on dairy farms.

More than 400 people attended the last set of courses in Northern Ireland, which are offered as part of the Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) Scheme.

The workshops are free for farmers, their family members and farm staff, and will be delivered by veterinary practitioners.

It will provide opportunities for informative discussion which aims to help milk producers make informed choices in developing animal health protocols on their own farms.

Antimicrobials, especially antibiotics, have been one of the most powerful drugs used to combat disease for many decades.

They are used widely in both human medicine and animal health. But the issue of antimicrobial resistance is increasing and it is now a major cause of concern worldwide.

Every possible action needs to be taken to manage the use of antibiotics on the farm to help tackle this problem.

The workshops will focus on a number of areas, including:

  • What antimicrobials are and how antimicrobial resistance develops;
  • Best practice in the use of antimicrobials and other medicines;
  • Practical steps to reduce the use of antimicrobials on the farm and avoiding residues.

The training offered also meets the requirements of various farm quality assurance schemes including the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme.

Numbers are limited on each course to allow plenty of opportunity for discussion with the vets. Anyone wishing to attend must register in advance.

Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) is part of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme, funded under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.