Livestock farmers could be costing themselves by missing correct injection sites

Farmers may be losing money by incorrectly injecting livestock and damaging carcase value, a survey carried out by AHDB Beef & Lamb has revealed.

At last month’s Beef Expo event, organised by the National Beef Association (NBA), AHDB Beef & Lamb invited farmers to its stand to demonstrate where they would inject their livestock.

The interactive exhibit showed that an overwhelming amount of participants indicated incorrect injection sites, which can lead to the formation of lesions.

With 6% of beef carcases slaughtered in the UK estimated to have injection site lesions, farmers could be facing large financial losses as the lesion and surrounding tissue must be trimmed out by the abattoir before being weighed.

Bad practice could also be reducing the quality of the meat, as well as leading to animal welfare implications.

‘As little as possible, but as much as necessary’

Katie Thorley, AHDB Beef and Lamb knowledge transfer senior manager, said: “Producers could be losing money, simply by not injecting in the correct place.

“Injections should be carried out in the neck of the animal, where the less valuable cuts are located, as well as in a dry and clean area.

“When medicines are required, use as little as possible, but as much as necessary, and read the product datasheet.”

This guidance falls in line with the government’s aim to reduce antibiotic usage by 20% by 2018.

“It’s also best practice to replace needles as frequently as possible to reduce the risk of abscesses forming. If injecting a large number of animals, the same needle may be used for up to 10 animals and then must be changed,” she added.

For more information, see the AHDB Beef and Lamb’s manual ‘Using medicines correctly for Better Returns’, which can be found on the AHDB website.