The drive to increase awareness and stop the spread of antibiotic resistance in animals and the environment in Wales will be highlighted at next week’s Royal Welsh Show.
Arwain DGC is a project created to highlight the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to help farmers, equine keepers and vets in Wales reduce the need to use antibiotics, through the use of training, technology, data gathering and intelligence.
At the Royal Welsh Show, an invited audience of vets, farmers, and industry representatives, will receive the latest information about Arwain DGC’s work and achievements since its launch last autumn.
There will also be an Arwain DGC showcase next to the Welsh Government Pavillion on Wednesday 20 July where members of the public can find out more about the project.
Led by Menter a Busnes, Arwain DGC comprises of a schedule of activities and brings together experienced collaborators to deliver a wide-ranging programme addressing AMR in animals and the environment. Included are key Welsh agricultural stakeholders (Menter a Busnes, Welsh Lamb and Beef Producers Ltd and Welsh Agricultural Organisation Society), academic institutions (University of Bristol and Aberystwyth University School of Veterinary Science) and veterinary delivery partners (Iechyd Da and Milfeddygon Gogledd Cymru).
Among the activities, the Royal Welsh Show is expanding the existing Veterinary Prescribing Champions (VPCs) and creating Proof of Concept (PoC) farms to trial new methods to reduce the need to use antibiotics and share information.
On the third day of the Royal Welsh Show, the VPCs and PoC farmers will have the opportunity to network and hear the latest updates from the project’s partners and Welsh Government – with a keynote presentation by Dr Christianne Glossop, chief veterinary officer for Wales. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to give their views on what AMR means to them.
Arwain DGC Project Manager, Dewi Hughes, said, “We are proud to host this event at the show; it will be a great opportunity to provide an update on what we have achieved since we started the project last September.
“This includes setting up 12 Proof of Concept farms, gathering antibiotic use from over 1,000 farms, supporting 53 Veterinary Prescribing Champions across Wales, working with 53 farms to review AMR in the environment, developing a biosecurity app, and providing over 100 one-to-one clinics with vets and equine owners.”
The Royal Welsh Show will also see the launch of a short animated film – created for Arwain DGC – which explains the need to reduce antibiotic use and the work being done to decrease its need.
Dewi Hughes said, “This animation will complement our other material on our website and social media channels to help raise awareness and to address the increasing risk posed by antimicrobial resistance to animals and humans. The information and activities undertaken through Arwain DGC aim to support vets, farmers and equine owners to reduce the need to use antibiotics.”
Arwain DGC is closely aligned to the Welsh Government’s five-year AMR in Animals and the Environment Implementation Plan (2019 – 2024). This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.