Assessment of the farm-economic impact of reducing antimicrobial use in livestock production

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The overall objective of this dissertation was to assess the scope for, and the farm-economic impact of reducing veterinary antimicrobial use (AMU). The dissertations’ underlying assertion is that an assessment of these issues can help in understanding pathways for reducing veterinary AMU. First, a conceptual framework was developed that provides an integrated assessment of measures and strategies that can be applied within the supply chain in order to reduce both (the need for) AMU and the prevalence of (pathogenic) microorganisms, and consequently the risks of human exposure to AMR. The farmer, the farm and the animals are considered as main decision areas in order to reduce AMU successfully. In addition, a theoretical framework was developed for deriving the economic value of AMU and determining the factors that affect the economic value of AMU. Microeconomic theory postulates that the main determinants of the economic value of AMU are the prices of productive inputs, damage abatement inputs and outputs, the production technology, the damage abatement function, the risk attitude of the farmer and the variance of profit. The next step was to assess the relation between technical farm performance and AMU. The results indicate that farms have unique combinations of technical farm performance and AMU, and therefore require farm-specific strategies to reduce AMU successfully. Finally, the impact of farm-specific interventions on farm performance was assessed. The results indicate that successful strategies for reducing AMU need to target combined interventions regarding the farmer, the farm and the animals. Overall, this dissertation underlined that there are possibilities for reducing AMU without necessarily having negative consequences with respect to technical farm performance.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Oude Lansink, Alfons, Promotor
  • Saatkamp, Helmut, Co-promotor
Award date10 Dec 2018
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789463435338
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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