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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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DAFM hosting AMR-related webinars

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine’s Animal Health Awareness Week runs from November 18th to November 24th, 2021.

It is taking place in conjunction with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW).

According to the DAFM, the first objective of the week is to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring high standards of animal health to prevent and control disease for the primary benefit of farmers and pet owners, but also wider society.

The second objective is to raise awareness of the “growing” challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the DAFM said:

“Antimicrobial resistance primarily impacts on human health. However, using antimicrobials in either human or animal health will drive the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria.”

“The same bacteria can cause disease in people and animals. The same antimicrobials are used to treat disease in both populations.

Animal Health Awareness Week

The week’s overarching theme is future sustainability – economic, environmental, and social – both in terms of animal health and antimicrobial usage.

A key element of the week is to re-emphasise the importance of the early detection of any new or exotic diseases so that control measures can be put in place promptly, to contain any such outbreaks.

“Healthy livestock are critical for economically sustainable livestock production,” the DAFM said.

The DAFM added that healthy animals also contribute to environmental and social sustainable outcomes:

  • Optimising output per individual animal;
  • Reducing climate impacts;
  • Also reducing antimicrobial use;
  • Ensuring the production of high quality nutritious, safe food;
  • Protecting animal welfare.

The department will host a series of evening webinars over the week on several pertinent animal health topics.

It said interest they will be of interest to farmers, animal owners, their vets and indeed the wider industry and society.

These webinars aim to promote a more proactive approach among the livestock industry to improving animal health and reducing the public health risks AMR and zoonoses pose.

Commenting Minister McConalogue said, “I would encourage as many people as possible to tune into this series of webinars on issues which are of concern not just to the farming community but the general public. “

“My staff has gathered a wide array of expert speakers who are really worth listening to. There will be really useful information shared with attendees.”


Nov 22nd One Health focusing on zoonoses

  •  Emerging zoonotic threats – Dr Helen Roberts, DEFRA and HAIRS chair
  • Zoonoses in Ireland – Dr Margaret O Sullivan, HSE
  • Emerging zoonotic threat of tick-borne diseases – Anneta Zintl, UCD
  • Zoonotic disease in family pets – Ciara Feeney, Ark Veterinary Group
Nov 23rd Herd health, highlighting the importance of proactive herd health planning in maximising health and minimising AM usage. 

  • Bulk milk testing as a herd health management tool – Ailish Moriarty, Nuffield Scholar
  • FARM vet champion programme – Dr Fiona Lovatt, RCVS clinical lead
  • Benefits of selective DCT for dairy farmers – Finola McCoy (AHI)
  • Future parasitic challenges at farm level – Dr James O Shaughnessy, CVRL
Nov 24th Emerging disease threats

  • FMD in Northern Ireland in 2001 – Dr Philip Robinson, Harper Adams
  • One Health team effort of COVID modelling – Professor Simon More, CVERA
  • Threat of Bluetongue – Sunita Jeawon, NDCC
  • Biosecurity lessons learned from LPAI – Dr Damien Barrett, NDCC
  • A family’s experience with AMR – Mike Magan, AHI
  • ASF preparedness – Gemma Daly DAERA
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