|dc.description.abstract||The increasing antimicrobial resistance of micro-organisms is a major international concern. Experts believe that the current resistance issues are partly attributable to the use of antimicrobials in Dutch livestock farming. Due to the increasing resistance the former department of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality demanded a progressive restriction of the use of antibiotics. In 2011 a reduction of 20% of antibiotic use has to be achieved compared to 2009. In 2013, the use should be halved compared to 2009.
The use of antibiotics can be reported using the daily dosage per animal year. The daily dosage per animal year is calculated using the daily dosage per kilogram (DDkg): the amount of an antibiotic necessary (g or ml) for treatment of one kilogram of animal during one day. When this is multiplied with the weight of an (average) animal, one daily dosage results. The daily dosages can be totaled to determine the total exposure to antibiotics in one year and related to the total amount of animals on the farm. This is the daily dosage per animal year. This value can be used to compare the use of antibiotics between different husbandries or even sectors.
This research is conducted within the practice area of the Academic Practice for Farm Animals ‘Westelijk Weidegebied’. The daily dosage of 100 dairy farmers receiving 4-weekly coaching was determined, using invoices from the practice management program. Also, the management was mapped using a survey and a visit at the farm. Technical indicators were acquired from CRV. With these data and in part newly developed scoring systems animal health, animal welfare and durability were determined at the farms. This substudy focuses on animal welfare. The welfare score was plotted against the daily dosage to determine whether a correlation exists.
There seems to be no correlation between the daily dosage per animal year and the management factors as measured in this study. Possible explanations are faulty scoring, wrong weighting or stockpiling. In addition, there could be an unreliability in the calculated daily dosage due to lack of complete data on the use of antibiotics. It is also possible that there is no correlation between management and antibiotic use.||