Co-Investigators: Dr Mehroosh Tak, Dr Lucy Brunton, Dr Pablo Alarcon, Dr Jaqueline Cardwell, Dr Naomi Bull (LSHTM)
Research Associate: Camilla Strang
Antibiotic usage (ABU) has become recognised as the main driver for the selection and spread of antibiotic resistance (ABR) both within the human and livestock sectors. It is therefore critical that antibiotics are used in a rational and responsible way, and that this usage is monitored.
To monitor usage effectively, accurate farm level ABU data capture systems are needed, along with central collation of such data. Legislation requires the collection of actual ABU data per animal species through semi-automated harmonised systems by 2023. In the UK, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate currently rely on pharmaceutical sales and a sub-section of veterinary sales data to provide information on ABU within the cattle industry. To meet legislative requirements, a centralised medicine hub for the cattle industry is being developed. This will facilitate targeted surveillance to truly understand the impact of ABU on the cattle industry and the development of resistance within and between the cattle and human populations. In addition, it is seen that such a system will promote the reputation of the industry to support trade at home and internationally.
The aim of this project is to assess the social acceptability and economic impact of a centralised ABU data capture tool for cattle farms in different contexts in the UK. To achieve this we will review the social acceptability through in-depth telephone interviews with farmers, and conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of data collection through a centralised tool. This analysis will estimate the cost of centralising data collection at industry and farm level. In addition, it will assess the potential spillover effects of herd health for farmers and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). The project will be based on the ethos of bidirectional knowledge exchange with cattle farmers and AHDB to promote successful implementation and maximum uptake of a centralised system.