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Responsible use of antibiotics on sheep farms: application at farm level

Lovatt, Fiona; Duncan, Jennifer; Hinde, Davinia

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Clinical Associate Professor

Jennifer Duncan

Davinia Hinde


There is currently global concern over rising levels of antibiotic resistance among commensal and pathogenic bacteria in human and animal populations. Unless urgent action is taken by the medical and veterinary professions, it is thought that we will enter a postantibiotic era in which bacterial diseases that were readily treatable with antibiotics will kill once again. Consequently, antibiotic use in both the human and animal health industries has come under intense scrutiny. Long-held ideas and accepted behavioural norms have rightly been challenged. Progress in the agricultural industries has developed apace with the establishment of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance Targets Task Force in December 2016 and Defra’s call for the implementation of sector-specific targets on the use of antibiotics. This article describes how veterinary surgeons and sheep farmers can work together to plan, prevent and protect against three specific disease management issues – infectious lameness, enzootic abortion of ewes and neonatal bacterial infections – by replacing, refining and reducing the use of antibiotics on farm, based on guidelines drawn up by the Sheep Veterinary Society.


Lovatt, F., Duncan, J., & Hinde, D. (2019). Responsible use of antibiotics on sheep farms: application at farm level. In Practice, 41(1), 23-33.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 4, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 23, 2019
Publication Date Jan 23, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 11, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 14, 2019
Journal In Practice
Print ISSN 0263-841X
Electronic ISSN 2042-7689
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 1
Pages 23-33
Public URL
Publisher URL


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