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Article

Exploring Farmers’ Reasons for Antibiotic Use and Misuse in Pig Farms in Brazil

1
Instituto Federal Catarinense, Campus Santa Rosa do Sul, Santa Rosa do Sul, SC 88965-000, Brazil
2
Laboratório de Etologia Aplicada e Bem-Estar Animal, Departamento de Zootecnia e Desenvolvimento Rural, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC 88034-001, Brazil
3
Veterinary Epidemiology Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7054, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gernot Zarfel
Antibiotics 2021, 10(3), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10030331
Received: 19 February 2021 / Revised: 17 March 2021 / Accepted: 17 March 2021 / Published: 22 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Usage of Antibiotic in Agriculture and Animal Farming)
Stressful management that makes farmed pigs susceptible to infections is associated with high antibiotic use (AMU) and resistance (AMR). Pig farmers are key stakeholders to support the international agenda pushing AMU restrictions. We interviewed 58 pig farmers on AMU/AMR, biosecurity, veterinary assistance, disease prevention and treatment, aiming to understand practices and attitudes towards the AMU/AMR problem. Farmers described a reliance on antibiotics to prevent and treat disease while neglecting biosecurity measures. We identified inappropriate AMU practices (high use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, incorrect dosage or treatment length) and unrestricted access to antibiotics, which encouraged imprudent AMU. Nevertheless, most farmers considered this AMU legitimate to guarantee herd productivity and showed unpreparedness and resistance to changing AMU practices, perceiving limitations (economic, sanitary and inspection) more easily than alternatives to reduce AMU. Agro-industries and foreign markets were mentioned, and internal consumers dismissed as potential motivators for behavioral changes. Importantly, farmers’ economic, technical and social factors may limit their autonomy to change practices. We conclude that the observed distancing of pig farmers from the AMU/AMR problem limits the efficiency of policies aiming for a prudent AMU. Our study indicates a need for education, training and behavior change nudging that should include other stakeholders beyond farmers. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial; AMU; AMR; attitudes; livestock; prudent use of antibiotics; swine antimicrobial; AMU; AMR; attitudes; livestock; prudent use of antibiotics; swine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Albernaz-Gonçalves, R.; Olmos, G.; Hötzel, M.J. Exploring Farmers’ Reasons for Antibiotic Use and Misuse in Pig Farms in Brazil. Antibiotics 2021, 10, 331. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10030331

AMA Style

Albernaz-Gonçalves R, Olmos G, Hötzel MJ. Exploring Farmers’ Reasons for Antibiotic Use and Misuse in Pig Farms in Brazil. Antibiotics. 2021; 10(3):331. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10030331

Chicago/Turabian Style

Albernaz-Gonçalves, Rita, Gabriela Olmos, and Maria J. Hötzel 2021. "Exploring Farmers’ Reasons for Antibiotic Use and Misuse in Pig Farms in Brazil" Antibiotics 10, no. 3: 331. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10030331

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