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Quantitative analysis of antimicrobial use on British dairy farms

Hyde, Robert M.; Remnant, John G.; Bradley, Andrew J.; Breen, James E.; Hudson, Christopher D.; Davies, Peers L.; Clarke, Tom; Critchell, Yvonne; Hylands, Matthew; Linton, Emily; Wood, Erika; Green, Martin J.


Robert M. Hyde

John G. Remnant

Professor of Dairy Herd Health and Production

Clinical Associate Professor

Peers L. Davies

Tom Clarke

Yvonne Critchell

Matthew Hylands

Emily Linton

Erika Wood

Professor of Cattle Health & Epidemiology


Antimicrobial resistance has been reported to represent a growing threat to both human and animal health, and concerns have been raised around levels of antimicrobial usage (AMU) within the livestock industry. To provide a benchmark for dairy cattle AMU and identify factors associated with high AMU, data from a convenience sample of 358 dairy farms were analysed using both mass-based and dose-based metrics following standard methodologies proposed by the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption project. Metrics calculated were mass (mg) of antimicrobial active ingredient per population correction unit (mg/PCU), defined daily doses (DDDvet) and defined course doses (DCDvet). AMU on dairy farms ranged from 0.36 to 97.79?mg/PCU, with a median and mean of 15.97 and 20.62?mg/PCU, respectively. Dose-based analysis ranged from 0.05 to 20.29 DDDvet, with a median and mean of 4.03 and 4.60 DDDvet, respectively. Multivariable analysis highlighted that usage of antibiotics via oral and footbath routes increased the odds of a farm being in the top quartile (>27.9?mg/PCU) of antimicrobial users. While dairy cattle farm AMU appeared to be lower than UK livestock average, there were a selection of outlying farms with extremely high AMU, with the top 25 per cent of farms contributing greater than 50 per cent of AMU by mass. Identification of these high use farms may enable targeted AMU reduction strategies and facilitate a significant reduction in overall dairy cattle AMU.


Hyde, R. M., Remnant, J. G., Bradley, A. J., Breen, J. E., Hudson, C. D., Davies, P. L., …Green, M. J. (in press). Quantitative analysis of antimicrobial use on British dairy farms. Veterinary Record, 181(25),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 10, 2017
Online Publication Date Dec 21, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 12, 2018
Journal Veterinary Record
Print ISSN 0042-4900
Electronic ISSN 2042-7670
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 181
Issue 25
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information © British Veterinary Association


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