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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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Calls to include faecal sampling and milk recording in eco-schemes

Macra na Feirme has called on the DAFM to include faecal sampling and milk recording as potential measures that farmers can select under new eco-scheme proposals in the next CAP.

The calls come as part of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, from November 18th to November 24th.

It aims to increase antimicrobial resistance awareness among the likes of policymakers.

The DAFM is hosting a series of webinars as part of the week.

This evening, it will stage a further one on the advantages of bulk milk tank screening to benefit farmers making on-farm decisions.

Macra na Feirme believes that the proposals around faecal sampling and milk recording “align perfectly with the work ongoing within the department”.

Eco-scheme proposals

In a statement, its national president, John Keane, said:

“Antimicrobial resistance is beginning to impact on our animal health strategies.”

“Encouraging farmers to get faecal samples analysis regularly could be a major weapon in tackling the threat of antimicrobial resistance.”

“This measure and milk recording also align to one of the EU Commissions own criteria for approving an eco-scheme measure.”

Under the European Commission’s own draft proposal, it considers antimicrobial resistance an area of “environmental, climate and animal welfare action”.

Also, it is a specific objective of the CAP framework where member states may opt to implement eco-schemes to address antimicrobial challenges.

Keane said the benefits of reduced anthelmintic usage and improved decision making are both beneficial to the environment.

He said they align with the EU Farm to Fork strategy’s targets to reduce antibiotic and anthelmintic usage on farms.

“Currently, we are seeing antimicrobial resistance as a small issue on Irish farms but one with the potential to grow.”

He said including these measures in eco-schemes:

  • Allow Irish farmers to get ahead of the curve;
  • Be leaders when it comes to addressing this issue;
  • Forge a pathway that facilitates Irish farmers to meet the ambition under The EU Farm to Fork Strategy.
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