Antibiotic usage as a pattern emerging from farmer and veterinarian decison making in animal health and production

The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in livestock in the Netherlands has increased dramatically in the last decades. Reduced antimicrobial agents usage is seen as the main approach to decrease the prevalence of AMR.

The use of antibiotics in livestock production is a complex issue. The relationship between biological processes of farm animals, microbial agents, farm management are inherently uncertain and non-linear due to many natural feed-back loops.

At the same time, adaptation of the livestock production system also occurs at different levels. At the microbial level, antibiotic resistance genes adopt defensive strategies in bacterial populations. At the farm level, farmers adopt their decisions in regard to the use of antibiotics and adoption of management practices in response to government and chain policy interventions.

Goal of this project is obtaining a better understanding of the complex and adaptive system of antimicrobial use in animal production, with the aim to evaluate:

  • The effect of government and chain policy interventions on decisions regarding antimicrobial use and development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
  • The resilience of the farming system under different policy interventions, against the introduction of emerging or re-emerging livestock diseases.