How antibiotics are used in pig farming: a mixed-methods study of pig farmers, feed mills and veterinarians in Thailand

Lekagul, Angkana, Tangcharoensathien, Viroj, Mills, Anne, Rushton, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0001-5450-4202 and Yeung, Shunmay
(2020) How antibiotics are used in pig farming: a mixed-methods study of pig farmers, feed mills and veterinarians in Thailand. BMJ GLOBAL HEALTH, 5 (2). e001918-.

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<h4>Background</h4>Rising global concern about antimicrobial resistance has drawn attention to the use of antibiotics in livestock. Understanding the current usage of antibiotics in these animals is essential for effective interventions on the optimisation of antibiotic use. However, to date few studies have been conducted in low- and middle-income countries. This study aimed to explore the use of antibiotics and estimate the total amount of antibiotics used in pig production in Thailand.<h4>Methods</h4>This was a mixed-methods study including a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey of 84 pig farmers, secondary analysis of data from a survey of 31 feed mills to estimate the amount of antibiotics mixed in pig feed and interviews with five veterinarians involved in the feed mill industry to gain an understanding of medicated feed production.<h4>Findings</h4>Half of the farmers reported using antibiotics for disease prevention. Use was significantly associated with farmers' experience in raising pigs, farm income, having received advice on animal health and belonging to a farm cooperative. The estimated total amount of active ingredients mixed into medicated feed for pigs for the whole country was 843 tonnes in 2017. Amoxicillin was the most commonly used antibiotic reported by both pig farms and feed mills. The use of Critically Important Antimicrobials including colistin was common, with one-third of farmers reporting their use as oral or as injectable medication, and accounting for nearly two-thirds of antibiotics contained in medicated feed.<h4>Conclusion</h4>A majority of antibiotics used in Thai pig farms belonged to the category of Critically Important Antimicrobials. Progressive restriction in the use of antibiotics in pigs is recommended through using prescriptions to control the distribution of certain antibiotics. The government should strengthen veterinary services to improve access of farmers to animal health advice and explore alternative interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals, Swine, Humans, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Cross-Sectional Studies, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Animal Husbandry, Veterinarians, Thailand, Farmers, Farms
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2020 10:55
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:56
DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001918
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