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Participatory policy making by dairy producers to reduce antimicrobial use on farms

L. van Dijk, A. Hayton, D. C. J. Main, A. Booth, A. King, D. C. Barrett and others

THE increase of antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem for human health and an increasing economic burden for society. Pressures to reduce antimicrobial (AM) use and to use AM medicines more responsibly in food-producing animals are likely to increase from policy makers and the food industry, including retailers. To address this challenge, participatory approaches to welfare interventions and disease prevention may be necessary to achieve sustainable farm practice change.

This paper describes a policy development process in which two groups of dairy producers and their veterinarians worked together to develop their own AM stewardship policy leading to changes in farming practice.

The policy development process was initiated by two dairy producer groups, a group of 25 organic producers and a group of 48 conventional producers. A project team developed an outline for regional workshops and structured the main discussions around on-farm measures for more responsible use of AMs. Four regional workshops with producers and their veterinarians then took place.

The turnout at all regional workshops was high: 97 participants (representing 70 producers of a total of 73 in the two …

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