AFBI is seeking your views on veterinary medicine use across NI’s farms

Date published: 13 September 2023

Area of Expertise:

Maintaining high levels of animal health is a key pillar to enhance profitability on farm and reduce the environmental impact of livestock systems.

If you are a livestock farmer, please complete our short survey!

How we manage our animals, our biosecurity procedures, how we deliver health plans, design housing, and administer vaccines are all aimed at protecting and enhancing animal health on farms.  Furthermore, the responsible use of veterinary medicines, such as antibiotics, plays an important role in the fight against disease, with many of these antibiotics used to treat both humans and animals. However, growing resistance against antibiotics (antimicrobial resistance -AMR) has been highlighted as one of the most serious threats to health across the world.

The Northern Ireland Changing the Culture ‘One Health’ action plan 2019 – 2024 promotes the responsible use of antimicrobials, particularly antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine. This One Health plan outlines a variety of actions around reducing infection and unintentional exposure, optimizing the use of antibiotics, and investing in innovation, supply, and access to tackle AMR.

Data released from the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) has shown that the UK farming industry has embraced the responsible use of antibiotics in recent years, with UK sales of antibiotics for cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry showing reductions of 55% since 2014, making the UK one of the lowest users of antibiotics for livestock in Europe.

A key step in tackling AMR in NI livestock is to better understand what veterinary medicines are being used and why.  AFBI, along with stakeholders have developed a short anonymous survey to capture information on farmers views and opinions on antimicrobial use, antimicrobial resistance, and its potential effect on their farms, how they prevent and treat disease on their farm and where they source advice and information from on this topic. The analysis of information from the survey will help inform future DAERA policies.

If you are a livestock farmer, please complete our short survey!

As a thank you, we have a draw you can opt into where you could win one of several prizes: an EID stick reader (worth £600), a 10.5” tablet (worth £250) or a £50 voucher which can be used at a wide range of shops and online outlets.

Congratulations to our first and second winners pictured below, James Campbell and Sean Coyle who have both won a 10.5” tablet. There are still more prizes to be won! So, complete our survey at for a chance to win a £50 voucher, a 10.5” tablet or an EID stick reader (worth £600)!

Sean Coyle who won a 10.5” tablet
Sean Coyle who won a 10.5” tablet
While we have tried to make this survey easy to complete by including some suggested answers, we have also provided questions with space for you to add your own answers. This will help us to identify if there are illnesses that are causing issues, or if you’ve found any effective strategies to help lower disease incidence or antimicrobial use on your farm. All survey responses are anonymous.

This survey is being funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.  It is an important survey which has the potential to shape DAERA policy going forward.

The survey is available both online and in paper format with prepaid return postage. To take part in the survey online please visit:  or scan this QR code with your smartphone:

If farmers would prefer a paper copy, they can either email or write to us with their name and address and we will post a survey to them:

email –\

post – STATUS Survey, AFBI, Large Park, Hillsborough BT26 6DR

Notes to editors: 

AFBI’s Vision is “Scientific excellence delivering impactful and sustainable outcomes for society, economy and the natural environment”.

AFBI’s Purpose is “To deliver trusted, independent research, statutory and surveillance science and expert advice that addresses local and global challenges, informs government policy and industry decision making, and underpins a sustainable agri-food industry and the natural and marine environments”.

AFBI’s core areas:

  • Leading improvements in the agri-food industry.
  • Protecting animal, plant and human health.
  • Enhancing the natural and marine environment.

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