Some of the key areas strengthened have been outlined below. Not every change is listed
BEEF AND LAMB
Standards affecting the use and recording of antibiotics have been bolstered across all livestock sectors, demonstrating the UK farming industry’s commitment to playing its part in tackling antimicrobial resistance. Further changes will be made in 2018 after the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) target recommendations and other industry initiatives are published to ensure the industry is fully aligned.
A recommendation has been added that the highest priority critically important antibiotics are only used as a last resort under veterinary direction. For farm to farm sales, animals under statutory withdrawal periods for medicines must be accompanied by a withdrawal period declaration.
A farm biosecurity plan must be created, implemented and updated in relation to health and performance reviews. Disinfectants across the farm should be Defra approved.
Silage must be stored in a manner that minimises the risk of contamination and pollution with particular attention to field clamps where they are permitted (not in Scotland).
Year-round tethering of cattle is not permitted and halters must be made from non-abrasive materials.
The environmental protection section has no significant changes but is now more appropriate for livestock farmers and has been divided in to two areas; the responsible use of agri-chemicals and nutrient management.
A map should show the unit’s buildings, fields, watercourses and high pollution risk areas.
As well as providing permanent supply of clean water, members must also ensure that troughs are kept clean.
Permanent baiting must not be routinely undertaken and baits can only be sited where evidence shows they are being continuously effective. A site survey and risk assessment of watercourses and populations of non-target species should also be carried out and recorded before treatment. This ensures assured farmers can buy professional rodenticides without further proof of competence.