Oli Maxwell BVSc BSc (Hons) DipECBHM MRCVS explains the new guidelines for Red Tractor accreditation.
New Red Tractor Guidelines
New guidelines for Red Tractor accreditation came into effect on 1st October. These guidelines now require an annual antibiotic audit for each dairy farm (which can be tied in with the herd health plan review), in line with national and global efforts to reduce antibiotic use in both humans and livestock. We have several tools available to us to help with this task, which will not only help you comply with the new revised guidelines but also, we hope, help you target areas for improving disease control on farm.
We have a new tool which produces a report on how much of each antibiotic you have bought in the past 12 months and can categorise them into usage groups allowing us to see where you are using the most drugs.
This can help us work with you to address issues on farm and gives us focused targets for the Herd Health Plan Review at the same time, especially with regard to the Critically Important Antibiotics (CIAs).
The new Red Tractor guidelines for beef and sheep farms are less stringent, simply recommending that the highest priority CIAs are used as a last resort under veterinary direction. It’s still a good idea to monitor antibiotic use though, and we can produce the above reports for our beef and sheep farmers too.
Also, using our practice management software combined with a tool developed with the University of Nottingham, we are able to show dairy farmers how much antibiotic you are using per head of stock; information which we can then benchmark to show you whether you are using more or less antibiotics than average.
The amount of prior preparation that we need to do for your Herd Health Plan Review is greater than it used to be, so please remember to give us plenty of notice beforehand!