Register now to make the most of Medicine Hub, encourages NSA

10th November 2021

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is welcoming the call for UK livestock vets to work with their farmer clients to assist in populating the national Medicine Hub with farm antibiotic data.
UK farms already have among the lowest use of antibiotics in Europe, however sheep, beef and dairy sectors have found it a challenge to evidence this responsible use due to a lack of data at a national-level.
The Medicine Hub intends to address this, offering a safe, secure and independent central repository to collate, report and compare antibiotic data from a variety of sources, including on-farm use and datasets from vets and processors.
NSA Policy & Technical Officer, Sean Riches comments: “There has been change in antibiotic use in sheep farming over recent years, but without consolidated information from a coordinated source, continuous tracking and measurement is difficult. This is why it is so important for sheep farmers to register with the Medicine Hub and to let their vet know as soon as possible.”
Vets, as the prescribers and gatekeepers of antibiotics, have a huge role to play in this, which is why NSA is calling on its members to work with their vet now to be part of developing this hugely beneficial platform.
The industry call to action is for sheep, beef and dairy clients to register on the Medicine Hub before the end of 2021 so their vet can confidentially share antibiotic data with it on the farmers’ behalf. Registration will be an important first step towards demonstrating the success of a wide range of antibiotic stewardship activities undertaken in these sectors over the past five years.
Sean adds: “The data uploaded into the Medicine Hub will be vital for future animal health management practices and the earlier the data is made accessible the better. Whilst it is recognised that it will take time for the system and processes to evolve, early engagement will help to establish some familiarity.”

The Medicine Hub is also developing interfaces to transfer data collected by the Welsh Lamb and Beef Producers antimicrobial use calculator app and the STAMP (Strategic Antimicrobial use in dairy, beef and lamb production) antimicrobial usage benchmarking tool in Northern Ireland. In addition to this, Quality Meat Scotland’s (QMS) commitment to promoting good antibiotic stewardship includes mandatory collation of antibiotic data to contribute to national recording.
UK vets and farmers have demonstrated a commitment to raising the bar on the responsible use of antibiotics and the Medicine Hub will aid in proving this, as well as underlining the UK producers’ reputation and accountability in striving to meet the new national antibiotic use targets agreed by vets and producers through the RUMA (Responsible Use of medicines in Agriculture) Targets Task Force.
In addition to meeting national targets, UK farmers and vets need to consider EU rule changes, with member countries having to provide information on antibiotic use in cattle from 2023 and sheep from 2026, which will apply to Northern Ireland directly, but the other three nations indirectly also as they seek trade deals with the EU.
To find out more about the Medicine Hub and to get registered, please go to