Farmers and vets are being asked to take part in a new survey which aims to establish the amount of antibiotics used in the Scottish sheep industry.
The Sheep Health and Welfare Group developed a set of metrics last year which could be used to benchmark farms and provide a national reporting figure on antimicrobial usage.
Now a survey has been developed by researchers at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) to inform discussions about the adoption and development of these metrics in Scotland.
Initially, it will investigate how feasible and practical it would be for sheep farmers and their vets to provide these core metrics.
Although the overall antibiotic usage in the British sheep industry is not high, little is known about the exact quantities of antibiotics used in sheep flocks.
"This makes it difficult for industry to demonstrate that usage within the sector is low and to support claims that antibiotics are being used responsibly," said Hannah Bishop, SRUC Epidemiology Research Unit.
“This is becoming increasingly important both to facilitate trade and to meet statutory reporting requirements at a national level.”
The survey is aimed at sheep farmers and will take around 30 minutes to complete.
A separate survey is being sent to large animal veterinary practices across Scotland.
The project has been funded by the Scottish government’s Strategic Research Programme 2016-2021, delivered through SEFARI.