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01902 749920


What is FarmAssist?
FarmAssist is a database managed and run by National Milk Laboratories (NML) on behalf of milk buyers. It provides a record of medicines dispensed to individual farms, the results of testing for antibiotic residues and the Milk Sure accreditation status for individual farms. (Figure 1)

Figure 1 Schematic diagram of FarmAssist - see documents to download (right) for a larger version.

Why do we need FarmAssist?
  • As part of the Red Tractor standards, producers need to have an annual review of their medicine use and antibiotic testing results with their vet. FarmAssist brings this information together in a farm certificate.
  • As well as having a summary of the medicine use in their dairy herd, producers will be able to view their herd against national, or target figures for antibiotic use.
  • Vet practices will be able to benchmark and review the use of antibiotics across their clients’ herds.
  • Milk purchasers will also be able to benchmark antibiotic use across their producer pool to help support their wider role in antibiotic stewardship.
What data are required?
We require information from vet practices on quantities of medicine products, in particular antibiotics, dispensed to individual farms for use in the dairy herd and young stock. This information is required for 2017 and subsequent years.

How will the information be stored?
Information will be stored electronically at NML. This will be in the secure environment equivalent to that currently used to manage the payment test results for individual producers.

How will the information be used?
NML will use the data to provide reports to vet practices and their producer clients, milk purchasers and other third parties. These reports will support the UK cattle industry in demonstrating good practice and responsible use of antibiotics.

Who will the information be shared with?
It is intended that information will be shared with vets and their producer clients, and milk purchasers. However, please note that in line with our data privacy statement, we will not share any individual producer or vet information with any party other than those for whom we have express permission to do so. Anonymised summary data may be made available to other appropriate third parties - no individual producer, vet practice or milk buyer will be identified. Appropriate third parties may include national industry groups (for example, Dairy UK, Red Tractor, British Cattle Veterinary Association, Cattle Health and Welfare Group) and government agencies (for example the Veterinary Medicines Directorate).
How long will the information be kept?
Information relating to individual producers will be retained for a six year period (for example, data relating to 2017 will be available to the end of 2023). Anonymised data will be available indefinitely.
How do I find out more about FarmAssist?
In the first instance please email or contact the NML office on 01902 749920.