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Antibiotic use by farmers to control mastitis as influenced by health advice and dairy farming systems

Poizat, Axelle; Bonnet-Beaugrand, Florence; Rault, Arnaud; Fourichon, Christine and Bareille, Nathalie (2017) Antibiotic use by farmers to control mastitis as influenced by health advice and dairy farming systems. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 146, pp. 61-72.

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Mastitis is a bacterial disease common in dairy farms. Although knowledge about mastitis and its optimal technical management and treatment is now available, some dairy farmers still use antibiotics in inappropriate ways. Antibiotic use by farmers can be influenced by personal restraints and motivations, but it can be assumed that external drivers are also influential. The main purpose of this article is thus to analyse the choices of antibiotic and alternative medicine use for mastitis treatment and investigate the possible influence of two unexplored external drivers in dairy farms: (i) the health advice offered to farmers by farm advisors and veterinarians, (ii) the dairy farming system, as defined by combining the market valuation chosen for the milk, the level of intensification, and the perceived pressure related to investments. Research was based on 51 individual semi-structured interviews with farmers and their corresponding veterinarians and farm advisors. Based on verbatim, the use of antibiotics and alternative medicine by farmers for mastitis treatment, the vet-farmers interactions, and the dairy farming systems are described. The advisory relationships between farmers and farm advisors and between farmers and veterinarians influenced the implementation of selective dry cow therapy, but had very little effect on the use of alternative medicines by farmers, who were more willing to experiment alternative medicines than their advisors. The dairy farming system had very little influence on antibiotic use: some misuse of antibiotics was found whatever the farming system. Systematic dry cow therapy was also a widespread habit in all dairy farming systems except organic. The use of alternative medicine was common in all farming systems.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Veterinarians - Farm advisors - Qualitative approach - Alternative medicine - Intensification - Milk valuation
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Farming Systems
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Deposited By: LEROUX, Mr Michel
ID Code:33567
Deposited On:24 Jan 2019 15:40
Last Modified:24 Jan 2019 15:40
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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