The Medicine Hub for cattle and sheep
The Medicine Hub provides a multi-species data hub for dairy, beef and lamb producers to collate medicine use.
Why use Medicine Hub?
For producers, Medicine Hub provides an independent, central repository to collate, report and compare your medicine use:
- report trends in medicine use over time on the same enterprise
- understand more about the types of products used
- compare medicine use on different enterprises
- provide benchmarking reports comparing usage with similar enterprises
The data can be entered by producers, or an authorised 3rd party, such as a veterinary surgeon or a nominated agent.
By linking to other data sources, duplication of data entry has been minimised. Where producers already record this data elsewhere they should ask those companies to talk to the Medicine Hub team about sharing their data with Medicine Hub.
At farm level the output from the hub can be reviewed by producers and their vets to manage responsible use of medicines in their enterprises, and in particular antibiotic use. Benchmarking data will enable comparison against similar systems, to identify the scope for improvements.
At a national level the hub will provide a central, independent information source with which to monitor medicine use in the dairy, beef and lamb sectors. This information can then be used to promote the reputation of those industries and support trade. It will also provide national level reporting of antibiotic usage data by sector to enable monitoring of progress against industry agreed sector targets, which are co-ordinated by the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA).
Measuring antibiotic use at farm and sector level
Farm level monitoring of antibiotic use
Monitoring not only the amount of antibiotic used on farm, but also the types of products used and why can bring real insight that drives improvements in managing the health of all farmed livestock. Core metrics for dairy and beef enterprises were agreed by the Cattle Health and Welfare Group (CHAWG), who also made a number of recommendations about measuring antibiotic use on cattle farms.
Likewise the Sheep Antibiotic Guardian Group have made recommendations about measuring antibiotic use on sheep farms and they can be found here.
National sector level antibiotic use reporting
Figures provided to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) for national sector level calculations will be calculated on a population correction unit (PCU) basis as described by the ESVAC project. More information on the PCU can be found here.
Industry targets to demonstrate responsible antibiotic use
The Responsible Use of Medicine in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) have established a Targets Task Force Group to work with industry and establish sector targets for addressing antibiotic use in farmed livestock.
New targets for the responsible use of antibiotics in UK livestock sectors 2021-2024 can be found on the RUMA website.
Electronic Medicine Book (eMB) for pigs
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.