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Code of Good Practice for Responsible Use of Antimicrobials on Suckler and Beef farms launched

The Minister for Agriculture in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has launched the Code of Good Practice regarding the responsible use of antimicrobials on suckler and beef farms. The launch coincides with the start of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which runs from 18th to the 24th November.

Launching the Code the Minister said: “This Code of Good Practice will serve as a valuable reference for beef and suckler farmers as they work to address the ‘One Health’ challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).” He emphasised that the practical strategies outlined in this document highlight some of the important actions that beef and suckler farmers can take to reduce their overall use of antibiotics and to improve their herd health.

The Minister welcomed the timely launch of the Code on European Antibiotic Awareness Day which is an annual event, and a means of highlighting the continued global concern in relation to AMR. He commented: “AMR remains a challenge not just for human health, but also animal health, food security and our shared environment.”

The Minister acknowledged that all stakeholders have an important role in addressing this One Health issue, and thanked the extensive work and collaboration between the Irish Farmers Association, Veterinary Ireland and Teagasc.

The Minister stated: “Under the chairmanship of the Animal and Plant Health Association, the Irish Farmers Association, Veterinary Ireland and Teagasc have developed a useful tool for suckler and beef farmers to support the agri-food sector’s work to address AMR.”

The Minister referenced the continued engagement of stakeholders to address AMR across the human health, animal health, and environment sectors at a One Health level. He commended the collaborative leadership shown, and actions taken, under Ireland’s national action plan to address AMR (iNAP).

He added that the he hoped “the working in partnership would continue into the development and iteration of the next version of iNAP, and the implementation of future sector specific actions supported by the iNAP animal health sector implementation committee, which is chaired by the chief veterinary officer Dr Martin Blake.”