As little as possible, as much as necessary

Date published: 07 February 2019

The principle of ‘As little as possible, as much as necessary’ is a central message of the recently launched workshops on ‘Responsible use of Antibiotics in the Dairy Herd’.

Alistair Smith, Dromore, Co Down with Judith McCord, CAFRE Dairy Development Adviser and Sam Strain MRCVS, Chief Executive AHWNI at the Hillsborough Responsible Use of Antibiotics workshop.

The popular workshops are delivered by vets from Animal Health & Welfare NI and around 250 local dairy farmers have attended the first six workshops.

The workshop creates awareness across a number of areas starting with how anti-microbial resistance to antibiotics develops and the likely future impact in terms of both animal and human health.

Practical guidance is provided on the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of responsible antibiotic use during an open discussion about attendees own practical experience of managing animal health issues on their farms.

The course aims to help milk producers make informed choices in developing animal health protocols on their own farms. It also gives key tips on the best use of antibiotics and how to avoid residues in milk.

The workshop concludes with examples of best practice in dairy herds through improved herd management and appropriate antibiotic usage. While each farm is different, there are common principles central to good herd health management. These include the importance of the farm’s veterinary surgeon, good records, hygiene and proper milking equipment maintenance.

A short video clip highlighting key points from the workshop, along with dates and locations of future workshops is available on the CAFRE website.

The workshops are free to attend for farmers, farm employees and farm family members. Each participant will receive a training and attendance certificate that fulfils current assurance scheme recommendations.

Farm Family Key Skills programme (FFKS) is an initiative within the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS). FBIS is a key element of the NI Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and is part funded by the EU.

For further information on attending or arranging training in your area, contact Animal Health & Welfare NI (AHWNI), email:,Tel: 028 7963 9333.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The College of Agriculture Food & Rural enterprise (CAFRE) is responsible for the delivery of the Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) programme.
  2. For more information on FFKS, please email: or call Knowledge Transfer Administration on 028 9442 6790.
  3. The FFKS programme is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
  4. The department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
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  6. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office or tel: 028 9052 4619.


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