Ongoing training on antimicrobial usage gets positive feedback
The Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) has reported that at the end of March 2021 over 7,000 producers have been trained in the Responsible Use of Antimicrobials on beef, sheep and dairy farms.
LMC is encouraging members of the Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (NIBL FQAS) to continue to enrol for the courses ahead of their inspection.
Commenting on the training, industry development manager, Colin Smith said: “Whilst we are delighted to have over half of our members trained we have still a significant number of members who need to undertake the training. From February 2020 members of the NIBL FQAS were expected to undertake mandatory training on the responsible use of antimicrobials. It is a credit to all those involved in the delivery of the training that so many people have been trained. Covid-19 hit just after the training was made mandatory and since then trainers have had to adapt and change their delivery methods during the pandemic.”
A series of workshops on ‘Responsible use of Antimicrobials on Beef & Sheep Farms’, was launched in late 2019 under CAFRE’s Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) programme.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, training delivery moved online in the autumn of 2020 to ensure compliance with government guidelines and following the closure of the majority of meeting venues. Encouragingly LMC reports that there has been no significant impact on either the quality of the training or the demand from trainees.
Colin Smith continuesd: “Feedback from both face to face and online workshops has been incredibly positive with many farmers enthusiastically reporting back on the quality of the training course content, new learning that they had gleaned and the expertise of the training course delivery professionals. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) remains a very real issue for the industry to deal with and this training programme has given us the opportunity to communicate critically important messages despite the pandemic. NIBL FQAS members who are anticipating an inspection should enrol on a course as soon as possible and this can be done through the CAFRE website.
“We hope that through this mandatory training, we can build the knowledge of our NIBL FQAS members and encourage them to enhance their herd health planning in relation to antibiotic use.
“We’re doing this to ensure that the industry moves forward and to build resilience for the future sustainability of the sector. Maintaining good animal health and welfare remains a key pillar of NIBL FQAS and tackling AMR is critical to this. The training continues to serve as a very useful tool to ensure that local beef and lamb producers maintain their well-earned reputation as excellent stock keepers and stewards of responsible antimicrobial use on farms.”