• Sinead Quealy

January 2022 Rule changes for on-farm antibiotic usage & prescribing

Updated: Jul 1

Why are rules changing?

Great work has been carried out by governments, organisations and individuals to prepare farmers and vets for a deadline: January 2022. This deadline will mark the end of some lingering habits around antibiotic usage in animal agriculture. From our discussions and work with farmers, vets and the wider industry, there is a broad acceptance that the rules are tightening.


What can be missing is a clear link to a farmer’s own on-farm animal health practices. 


We have scrambled on to the shoulders of the giants already working in animal health and antibiotic policy to produce our translation of the approaching changes. These flyers are designed to encourage farmers to reflect on actions and considerations they may need to make on their farms. 


Essential to a farmer’s success is their relationship with their vet. The rule changes in January 2022 will impact on the conversations farmers and vets will have. Expectations need to be managed in advance. Some treatments, successful in the past, may not be encouraged as the first intervention from now on. These difficult messages will need an explanation. The flyers can help. 

For the next couple of months, we will share a single change each week. The changes will affect both on-farm usage and veterinary prescribing. The potential impact of these new rules will take time to process as real changes will need to be made to animal health planning and biosecurity measures by farmers and their vets. But the end goal is to keep antibiotics working for humans, and if we’ve learned anything this spring, we’ve learned the importance of our health.


Further information:


For more information on the rule changes and the broader topic of antimicrobial resistance, please check out the videos created by the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine in Ireland. The video campaign gives great background and information on the topic of antimicrobial resistance and role played by farmers, vets and animals in tackling the issue.


Left to right:

  • Could reaching for an antibiotic be a habit?

  • Antibiotics should not be used as a preventative

  • Antibiotic prescriptions will be for the animals the vet identifies only.

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We monitor emerging health and legislation trends in the sector and enable farmers as well as the industry to navigate and adapt to these changes.

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