The Medicine Hub for cattle and sheep

The Medicine Hub for cattle and sheep is being developed to act as a national data hub for medicine use across the dairy, beef and sheep sectors.  It will provide producers with a convenient way to record and benchmark use of medicines and antibiotics on their farm and review this in discussion with their vet. 

What is the Medicine Hub?

Work in the cattle and sheep sectors is underway to develop a Medicine Hub, to collate farm and national level medicine use.   The centralised capture of antibiotic use data by a standardised method will provide the following information:

  1. National sector level reporting of antibiotic usage in line with a widely recognised international methodology
  2. Farm level data for identification of trends in how antibiotics are being used and benchmarking within and between farms

The Medicine Hub for cattle and sheep has implemented antibiotic use metrics for dairy and beef farms to enable farmers and vets to benchmark herds over time and with other users.  These metrics have been developed by the Cattle Health and Welfare Group Antimicrobial Use Sub-group, following a consultation with industry.  The same process has been undertaken by the Sheep Health and Welfare Groups to generate antibiotic use metrics for the sheep industry.  For an update on cattle and sheep AMU metrics please see the CHAWG and SHAWG websites.

How would the Medicine Hub work?

We are currently exploring how the Medicine Hub can access records from external sources to avoid farmers having to duplicate entry of data held on other systems such as, the British Cattle Movement System (BCMS), their own herd/flock management software and vet practice management systems.   

The system aims to be as flexible as possible in providing users with the option to record antibiotic use by total amount of medicine used for a specific purpose, or as a full medicine book, where all veterinary treatments are recorded at an individual animal or group level.   

The software will report usage in a number of different ways to help identify trends and patterns of treatment that may need to be addressed on farm.  Use of high priority critically important antibiotics (HP-CIA’s) will be highlighted throughout the reports.

Development is currently underway, along with collection of user feedback, with the aim of releasing the Medicine Hub early in 2021. 

If you would like to know more about eMH for cattle and sheep then please contact the Medicine hub team at medicinehub@ahdb.org.uk or  024 7669 2051.

Electronic medicine book (eMB) for pork

AHDB Pork launched an electronic medicine book in 2016 to help UK pig producers collect accurate on-farm antibiotic usage data. The move was a reaction to increased concern over antibiotic usage, and a desire for a strong evidence base with which to defend the industry.   eMB-Pigs can be found here.

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