The third Project Disarm meeting was held by IFA at Stoneleigh Park on the 8-10 July. 

‘Disarm’ (Disseminating Innovative Solutions for Antibiotic Resistance Management) is a collaboration between farmers, veterinarians, advisory services, academics and industry to promote prudent and responsible use of antibiotics in livestock production, in order to alleviate the threat of antibiotic resistance. Launched in January 2019, it will continue through to December 2021 establishing a community of practice to disseminate effective practices and approaches.

Consisting of 15 project partners from 9 EU countries, the three day meeting included a talk from RUMA discussing how the UK farming industry has proactively addressed antimicrobial resistance, as well as a visit to Harper Adams University to view ways that both strategic and applied research can improve the efficiency of the production of farmed animals.

 The growing global threat of antibiotic resistance demands a swift response from both the human and animal sectors. DISARM will bring stakeholders in the livestock sector together to identify, share, and disseminate established and innovative ideas, that will not only reduce antibiotic resistance, but act as a catalyst for improved animal health. 

The Community of Practice 

The partnering organisations will form a Community of Practice (CoP). The CoP, aiming for at least 600 active members, will encompass farmers, veterinarians, researchers, industry professionals, processors and retailers. Interested stakeholders from across the industry and society will have the opportunity to join the discussions in the coming months. This community will co-create effective practices and approaches for the livestock industry that enable a more responsible use of antibiotics and will share ideas on how to disseminate these across Europe. 

During the project meeting the partners discussed ways they could improve the COP further, whilst also recognising that it has already become an active and well functioning discussion hub.

Multi-actor Farm Health Plan 

Co-creation will be a theme underpinning the project, with Multi-Actor Farm Health Plans being central to affecting change. These plans consist of a coached group of stakeholders from the Community of Practice network which will be around a total of 40 active livestock farms across Europe, identifying farm-specific good practice plans for a more prudent and responsible use of antibiotics.

These farms will act as pioneers, and catalysts for further events, such as workshops, and farm visits, contributing to a cross-pollination of initiatives. Learnings from these will be captured through guides, videos, reports, and case studies available on an online platform and media to suit a range of demographics. It is the consortium’s conviction that such multi-actor extensions and advisory methods will prove very effective in stimulating a more responsible use of antibiotics. 

Search Project Disarm on Twitter or Facebook to find out more or to join the COP.