Antimicrobial stewardship in the dairy industry: responding to the threat of antimicrobial resistance.
Dairy Australia is the national service body for the Australian dairy industry. Its role is to help farmers adapt to a changing operating environment and achieve a profitable, sustainable dairy industry. Although the use of antibiotics in Australian agriculture is relatively low in global terms, Dairy Australia recognises important drivers for continuous improvement in antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). Dairy Australia’s first strategic priority is to support profitable farms. This priority has driven the development of a range of on-farm change management programs in the animal health and welfare fields to optimise the unit cost of production and dairy cattle welfare. Dairy Australia’s third strategic priority is to further develop a ‘trusted dairy industry’. Previous and current work under these two strategies position the dairy industry favourably with respect to confronting the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and supporting sound AMS with the guiding principle of ‘as little as possible, as much as necessary’. However, given an incomplete but ongoing threat of AMR, more work is needed. Supported by Dairy Australia, the dairy industry has developed an antimicrobial use strategy aligning with the Australian Animal Sector National AMR Plan 2018.
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