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Practical approaches to AMS in production animal practice

Vets from Langford Farm and Friars Moor discuss the outcomes of their improved AMS.

In the video above, Andrea Turner from Langford Farm Animal Practice, discusses the outcomes to improving AMS in her practice. She answers the following questions:

  • What outcomes have you observed from the AMS policies that you have implemented?
  • How did the medicine auditing and benchmarking go down with clients?
  • How have the changes affected the practice and your career as a veterinarian?

In the article below, Jenny Bellini and Eleanor Price, discuss how AMS looks in their practice, Friars Moor Livestock Vets.

Image of Jenny Bellini and Eleanor Price

How did you implement antimicrobial stewardship in your practice?

In 2015 we launched a campaign to drive responsible prescribing in our practice. Our aims were to eliminate the use of HP-CIAs and to reduce overall use of antibiotics.

Over the past 4 years we have had huge success in achieving what we set out to, with everyone at the practice, farmers and vets alike, interested in AMS. Our average antibiotic use on our dairy farms has fallen by a third and we have not used HP-CIAs on our farms since 2016.

We implemented this through team work, excellent communication and generating farmer engagement. We used reporting and benchmarking to get farmer engagement, through meetings, newsletter articles and one-on-one farm discussions. Having the whole team of vets and office staff on board was critical to our success.

AMS leads to improvements on all areas of farms and knowing where a farm was in their current antibiotic usage was really important. We were lucky to be able to create some in house reports on farm’s antibiotic use and now we use NMLs Farm Assist to generate quarterly reports on antibiotic use on a farm. Knowing how a farm uses antibiotics now is crucial to be able to improve.

What have been the outcomes of implementing AMS for your practice, your vets and your clients?

Hugely positive experience for all, with a great sense of team work and achievement felt amongst vet and clients. Our farmers are proud to have led the way with eliminating HP-CIAs from their farms, many now see it as a competition to reduce antibiotic use and improve things further.

As a practice we have reduced antibiotic use by one third on our dairy farms over 5 years, and increased vaccine and NSAID penetration on our farms. We do more herd health advisory visits to help prevent disease through management, nutrition and housing.

What would be your 3 top tips for practitioners who want to implement AMS in their practices?

  1. Get a reporting system for your farms, either in house or NMLs Farm Assist. Have all your farms on one system (by sector), so usage can be analysed and benchmarked. This is really important to help to generate change.

  2. Team work, having the whole team on board was crucial. Front of house staff, pharmacy staff, vets, vet techs- everyone had to be bought in to the ethos and committed to delivering the same message to our clients.

  3. Challenge current prescribing practices between vets; at clinical meetings we still discuss whether what we are doing now is still best practice.

Use the comments section to share your experiences from implementing AMS policies (if you have implemented any) in your practices. If you have not yet implemented any of these policies, where do you think you would see improvements in your practices?

Which of the policies mentioned in this step could you introduce to your own practice?

An article by Jenny Bellini and Julian Allen can be found in the see also section. This provides a detailed account of how the team at Friars Moor managed to reduce their antimicrobial usage.

Another article by David Tisdall, Kristen Reyher and David Barrett can be also be found in the see also section and this describes how to achieve responsible medicines use at practice and farm level.

The final article in the see also section is Robert Hyde, David Tisdall, Paddy Gordon and John Remnant, and explores reducing antimicrobial use on dairy farms using a herd health approach.

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Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Practice

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