Representation and Education

British Cattle Veterinary Association promotes the responsible use of medicines

BCVA is recommending reducing the overall amount of antibiotics used in cattle practice. Work still needs to be done to establish the levels currently being used in cattle so that appropriate targets can be set but there are measures that can immediately be adopted.

BCVA is recommending minimal use of the third and fourth generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and colistin. These drugs should only be used where they have been demonstrated by sensitivity testing to be the only suitable choice to avoid unnecessary suffering.

BCVA is recommending that prophylactic use of antibiotics is to be avoided wherever possible without compromising animal welfare. Where it is used it should be regarded as an interim measure whilst alternative management and/or vaccination strategies are implemented.

All cows which comply with recommendations for internal teat sealant should be considered for non antibiotic treatments at drying off.   

BCVA continues to recommend that every farm should have a herd health plan which embraces all of the disease control strategies appropriate for disease reduction on each farm.  In addition best practice with regards farm management should be followed – suitable examples are the Red Tractor guidelines.

BCVA further recommends that all herds should establish their BVD status and eradicate the disease where it is found. BVD can have a detrimental effect on incidence of many diseases and its eradication will have a significant impact on the need for antimicrobial use.

BCVA continues to recommend the use of diagnostics to identify disease such that appropriate treatments can be selected and vaccination programmes instituted to prevent or reduce the severity of disease. 

20th December 2016




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