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Opinions wanted from farmers and vets


Farmers and vets working in the dairy, pig, beef and sheep sectors on the island of Ireland are being asked to complete a survey to provide their views on how antibiotics are used in agriculture.

The European Commission’s Farm to Fork strategy has set a 2030 target of reducing sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals and in aquaculture by 50%. The EU will introduce new regulations in 2022 on veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed.

In advance of such changes, this survey aims to understand the current behaviours and views of farmers and vets with respect to antibiotic use and inform recommendations to support any necessary changes to current antibiotic practices at farm level.

Survey leader Dr Claire McKernan from Queen’s University Belfast, advises on the importance of the survey to get the views of farmers and vets. New animal health legislation to be introduced in 2022 will require a shift in how antibiotics are used in some areas of agriculture. This shift can only be achieved through understanding farmers’ and vets’ needs and helping them to address any necessary changes at farm level. 

Dairy, beef, pig, sheep farmers and vets from all walks of life and parts of the island are invited to take part. All responses will be confidential and greatly appreciated.”

Dr Áine Regan, Teagasc Research Officer and Principle Investigator of the safefood project, stresses the neeed to assess the preparedness of farmers and vets to navigate the incoming regulations and identify resources that will support them through this major transition.

Survey Information

Farmers:  

Complete the survey online here  It can also be done over the phone or a copy can be posted out to complete at home. Get in touch +353-91-845248 or +44 (0)28 9097 4951 or email c.mckernan@qub.ac.uk

The survey takes 20 minutes and a €20/£15 ‘One4All’ gift voucher will be provided to the first 50 farmers from each of the four sectors (pig, dairy, sheep & beef) in each region (NI and RoI) to complete the survey.

Vets:

As well as this farmer survey, data is being collected on vets’ views of antibiotic use on the island of Ireland. The survey is separated into 2 sections:

  1. An online survey taking approximately 10 minutes.
  2. A follow-up telephone interview taking approximately 20 minutes.

Vets who are interested in participating in this part of the study can complete the survey online or contact Dr Claire McKernan at c.mckernan@qub.ac.uk