Real life consequences of AMR for farmers

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

In a detailed article The Economist (January 26th 2019 “Battling superbugs: First, Wash your hands” reports on the zero-tolerance approach taken in Dutch hospitals to antibiotic resistant infections.

There were several scary findings in the article. The investment of time, resources, training and facilities required to save lives and reduce the risks from antibiotic resistant bugs is far greater than many health services seem prepared to invest. Antibiotic resistant bugs are worsening, with CRE making MRSA look mild. This is not good.

But perhaps of most relevance to those of us involved in animal farming, is that in the Dutch health service, certain patients are assumed to carry antibiotic resistant infections on their skin – and “workers on animal farms” are top of the list of patients to be quarantined while awaiting test results. (Image above from The Economist article)

Farmers – carrying MRSA or similar on your skin is a health risk for you, your families and your workers. Talk to your vet about how to build a healthier, more resilient herd or flock, with the aim of reducing the level of antibiotic usage on your farm.

For information on how we can help you and your vet measure antibiotic usage on your farm, contact us on

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