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Book chapter - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Tackling antimicrobial resistance in the food and livestock sector

Dewulf, Jeroen; Sternberg-Lewerin, Susanna; Ryan, Michael


Antibiotics are widely used in food animal production to treat disease outbreaks, to prevent disease and, in some countries, to improve feed efficiency and enhance animal growth. Due to this complexity, the availability of reliable data on antibiotic use in livestock production is limited, but improving, especially for OECD countries. The highlight intensive animal production systems tend to use more antibiotics than the extensive systems. Over recent decades the adoption of improved biosecurity measures, animal husbandry practices and better farm management have contributed to a reduction in the use of antibiotics in many countries. All pathways of transmission of resistant pathogens between animals, humans and the environment (and vice versa) are not well understood, and this remains a major challenge for researchers and policymakers. With the growing public awareness of the risks associated with AMR, there is increased interest in developing alternative interventions to antibiotics in animal production. While estimating the economic costs and benefits of antibiotic use in production can be reduced without any adverse impact of farmers’ income, animal health and welfare.

Published in

European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
2019, pages: 99-123
Title: Challenges to tackling antimicrobial resistance : economic and policy responses
eISBN: 978-1-108-79945-4
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Food Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)