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Use of antimicrobials in animal health on the island of Ireland: knowledge, attitudes and behaviour

Project Reference: 04-2018

Status: Ongoing

Commencement Date: February 2019

Project Duration: 24 months


By implementing an interdisciplinary approach, this safefood research project will provide a holistic insight into identifying and understanding the behaviours of farmers and veterinarians with respect to the use of antimicrobials within different livestock industries. By integrating behavioural and social science perspectives with those of veterinary and animal health, we will develop practice-ready, evidence-based interventions aimed at reducing the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials at farm-level. This project will be conducted with a view to enhancing our current understanding of behavioural patterns related to microbial usage amongst farmers and veterinarians on the island of Ireland and to recommend interventions which can help to support good practices amongst these actors with respect to animal health.

The following specific objectives are specified for this project:

Collate available information on (i) current practices in the use of antimicrobials in meat and dairy producing animals on the island of Ireland (IOI) (ii) alternatives to using antimicrobials in animal health (e.g. biosecurity, vaccines etc.).

Assess the attitudes towards antimicrobial usage, the problem of antimicrobial resistance and the use of alternatives to antimicrobials amongst farmers and prescribing veterinarians.

Identify behavioural blockages and barriers to the prudent use of antimicrobials and the use of alternatives in meat and dairy producing animals.

Develop and test behavioural strategies for overcoming identified barriers, raising awareness and promoting the prudent use of antimicrobials in meat and dairy producing animals

Principal Contractor(s):

Dr Aine Regan, Teagasc


Prof Moira Dean, Queens University College

Dr Conor McAloon, University College Dublin 


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