How MilkSure works
MilkSure is a training and veterinary certification programme for dairy farmers. Whilst centred on residue avoidance in milk, it covers other areas of good medicine stewardship, such as adhering to correct treatment protocols, medicine storage, and reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance.
The initiative is led by Dairy UK and has been developed in conjunction with BCVA (the British Cattle Veterinary Association).
MilkSure is in two parts. Firstly, training is delivered one-to-one or in small groups by farmers’ own vets. Training is supported by a set of materials (workbook plus videos) which have been developed by dairy industry and veterinary specialists and endorsed by the British Cattle Veterinary Association. The materials provide consistency to the training which is farmer friendly; it is interactive and discussion based rather than didactic learning, or preachy.
The course covers all the technical and practical aspects necessary to safeguard residue-free milk and an online test checks that farmers and dairy workers have understood the key principles after the training.
Secondly, the vet completes a thorough risk assessment with the farmer and reviews the farm’s medicine use. This is to ensure compliance with legislation (for example around medicine storage, recording and disposal), and to identify areas of improvement to reduce the chance of residues in milk. The focus is on all veterinary medicines, not only antibiotics. A management plan is agreed.
How to register on-line for your MilkSure course
Registration for farms is simple. Click on the “Register” button and fill in your farm details. Once payment has been confirmed by the MilkSure office, your farm’s nominated vet practice will be sent the training materials, including Workbook and Manual, training instructions, access to further materials on this website and access to the on-line test. You must complete the training and risk assessment with your vet – it is not enough to simply do the online test without involving your vet.
You will have three months from the date of registration to complete the course and test. Training is arranged with your farm’s own vet at mutual convenience. The full course and test is likely to take around 3 hours. This can be in one or two sessions.
A secure database of all registered and accredited farms is kept. The MilkSure back office team provides support to farmers, processors and veterinary practices throughout the UK to ensure the smooth running of the programme and to notify processors when their supplying farms become accredited. MilkSure is funded through the annual farm registration fee.
1. The registration fee does not include any fees you will have to pay for your vet’s time to deliver the training
2. Registration is on a per farm basis and can be used for multiple workers
3. Accreditation is valid for one year from the date of award.
Benefits of MilkSure training:
MilkSure provides an annual accreditation for the farm. Each year, the management plan is reviewed and a new risk assessment and medicine review carried out by the vet. At each renewal (Top Up), the farmer and milking staff must pass an online problem-based evaluation to demonstrate their competency in medicine use and the application of correct withdrawal times. New members of staff undertake the initial training module and check test.
The course is suitable for anyone who milks cows.
- ✓ having fewer costly milk residue failures
- ✓ using medicines more efficiently
- ✓ demonstrating to customers a clear commitment to producing pure, safe milk
- ✓ ensuring the medicines prescribed are being used as intended
- ✓ fulfilling a responsibility for safeguarding that dairy products remain medicine-free
- ✓ demonstrating leadership in responsible use of veterinary medicines on dairy farms
- ✓ having to deal with fewer costly milk medicine residue failures
- ✓ gaining the respect and confidence of dairy consumers
- ✓ promoting the highest level of food safety