Helping dairy farmers fight superbugs

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peterhermesfurian / 123RF Stock Photo
peterhermesfurian / 123RF Stock Photo

As part of Antibiotic Awareness Week (see yesterday’s news story), the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is promoting responsible use of antibiotics in dairy cows, to prevent the emergence of untreatable diseases.

Australian Cattle Veterinarians’ president, Dr Craig Dwyer, said that vets take their responsibility to minimise the chances of the emergence of resistant superbugs very seriously.

“Antibiotics are a critical tool to have in our arsenal and we want to make sure they stay effective for as long as possible. We also want them to be available when they are needed,” he said.

“It’s important for vets and farmers to work together so that the right antibiotic is used for the diagnosis and for the right period of time, to avoid misuse or overuse.

“Prevention is also key and vets have lots of good advice for farmers about how to keep their cows in tip top condition,” said Dr Dwyer adding that there are very strict rules about how antibiotics are used in food animals, including dairy cows. Moreover, there are stringent systems in place in Australia to ensure our milk is free from any trace of antibiotics used in cows.

The AVA says there are precautions that farmers can take to reduce the spread of resistant bugs by avoiding contact with animals treated with antibiotics as this can lead to antibiotic resistance. Farm workers should also pay attention to hygiene during and after handling treated animals.

Here are some useful resources for vets from the AVA:

Based on a media release sourced from the AVA.

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