Food-producing animals throughout the world are likely to be exposed to antimicrobial (AM) treatment. The crossover in AM use between human and veterinary medicine raises concerns that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) may spread from food-producing animals to humans, driving the need for further understanding of how AMs are used in livestock practice as well as stakeholder beliefs relating to their use. A rapid evidence assessment (REA) was used to collate research on AM use published in peer-reviewed journals between 2000 and 2016. Forty-eight papers were identified and reviewed. The summary of findings highlights a number of issues regarding current knowledge of the use of AMs in food-producing animals and explores the attitudes of interested parties regarding the reduction of AM use in livestock. Variation between and within countries, production types and individual farms demonstrates the complexity of the challenge involved in monitoring and regulating AM use in animal agriculture. Many factors that could influence the prevalence of AMR in livestock are of concern across all sections of the livestock industry. This REA highlights the potential role of farmers and veterinarians and of other advisors, public pressure and legislation to influence change in the use of AMs in livestock.
- antimicrobial resistance
- rapid evidence assessment
- Received January 15, 2017.
- Revision received July 11, 2017.
- Accepted July 24, 2017.
- © British Veterinary Association (unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
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Funding This work was supported by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) (OD0558). Andrea Turner is also supported by the Pat Impson Memorial Fund and Langford Trust via their sponsorship of the Pat Impson Residency in Bovine Health Management.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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