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Antimicrobial use practices and opinions of beef farmers in England and Wales
  1. Charlotte Doidge1,
  2. Chris David Hudson1,
  3. Rob Burgess2,
  4. Fiona Lovatt1 and
  5. Jasmeet Kaler1
  1. 1School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, UK
  2. 2Evidence Group, Cumbria, UK
  1. Correspondence to Charlotte Doidge, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, LE12 5RD, UK; charlotte.doidge{at}nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

Background Limited research exists on antimicrobial use practices of beef farmers. This study aimed to investigate antimicrobial practices and perceptions of beef farmers in England and Wales, and identify drivers of higher antimicrobial use for treatment of bovine pneumonia.

Methods A survey was sent out in 2017 to beef farmers in England and Wales who supply to two abattoirs. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise the data. A logistic regression model was built to determine factors associated with treating greater than 5 per cent of the predominant group in the herd with antimicrobials for pneumonia.

Results There were a total of 171 useable responses. Most farmers reported using antimicrobials in less than 5 per cent of their herd for the treatment of common diseases. Most farmers (90 per cent) reported that they understood what antimicrobial resistance means, but only 55 per cent were aware of critically important antimicrobials and 9 per cent could name at least one critically important antimicrobial. Having a calf-rearing enterprise and not considering Johne’s disease when buying in cattle were associated with using antimicrobials to treat pneumonia in greater than 5 per cent of the predominant group in the herd.

Conclusion Self-reported antimicrobial use appears to be low in beef farms. However, some gaps in understanding aspects of antimicrobial stewardship by farmers were identified.

  • antimicrobials
  • farm animals
  • cattle
  • epidemiology
  • herd health
  • surveys
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Footnotes

  • Twitter @CharDoidge

  • Funding CD is supported by a studentship from AHDB.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science Ethics Committee (no 1850 160916).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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