Reducing the use of antibiotics in agriculture is one of the animal health and welfare challenges being addressed in a new Teagasc-led research project.
‘SWAB’ (Surveillance, Welfare and Biosecurity of Farmed Animals) brings together scientists, industry, farmers and veterinarians.
Principal Investigator Áine Macken-Walsh said the project will harness interdisciplinary expertise to investigate stakeholder perceptions, concerns, and values regarding animal welfare and health from the disciplines of sociology, psychology, economics, veterinary medicine, animal welfare and epidemiology.
Experts from the Department of Agriculture, the farming community and industry are also involved. Project co-ordinator Conor McAloon said the research will form an evidence base for future policy decisions.
A second research project, funded by the all-island body safefood, will focus on developing strategies to reduce antimicrobial usage on farms and will extend the reach of the work into Northern Ireland.
Principal investigator Áine Regan said this project will work with farmers and veterinarians to create practical and acceptable solutions to reduce antimicrobial usage.