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Rethinking of Antimicrobial Decision-systems ​in the Management of Animal Production

"To contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance resulting from farm animal production and to an overall reduction in the use of antimicrobials and its impact on the environment, animal health and public health (One Health approach)".

ROADMAP is a four-year EU-funded project that aims to support the transition to prudent use of antimicrobials in animal production in a wide variety of settings by promoting a rethinking of antimicrobial decision-making systems along the food chain.

More specifically, the project will lead to the development of options to reduce the use of antimicrobials in agriculture. ROADMAP is responding to the desired impacts through a multi-stakeholder approach, with an interdisciplinary consortium composed of researchers from different fields (economic, social, animal and veterinary sciences), as well as advisors and consultants from animal health professional organisations and stakeholders and decision-makers at national, European and international level.

By identifying the main drivers of antimicrobial use and studying current practices in different contexts, ROADMAP contributes to the transition to prudent antimicrobial use by rethinking antimicrobial decision systems in animal production management. In particular, ROADMAP contributes to :

  • The protection of animal health and welfare through improved animal health prevention and control ;
  • The protection of human health through the preservation of the antibiotic arsenal, better control of the spread of resistant bacteria and improved food safety ;
  • The protection of the environment through better control of the spread of resistant bacteria (through agricultural waste in particular).

The overall objective of ROADMAP is to promote transitions to prudent antimicrobial use in animal production in a wide variety of contexts. This change will be achieved by improving antimicrobial decision making systems throughout the food and pharmaceutical supply chain. The originality of ROADMAP lies in the fact that, for the first time, a project applies the conceptual approaches "food systems" and "transition pathways" to the topic of antimicrobial use. So far, research has focused on technical solutions and behavioural changes, but not on a broader understanding of the systemic dynamics and thus the necessary changes. ROADMAP's new theoretical and methodological framework allows it to bring new knowledge and solutions to the crucial issue of antimicrobial resistance.

From an interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder perspective, ROADMAP addresses the most important challenge in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, namely to find solutions adapted to local contexts. It will draw lessons from countries and production systems that have already reduced antimicrobial use and build on successful experiences to develop transition scenarios capable of mobilising all actors involved in animal health management (from farmers and veterinarians to upstream and downstream industries and public authorities). In addition, by carrying out field work in different regions of Europe and in low- and middle-income countries, ROADMAP contributes to harmonise trends and dynamics towards prudent use of antimicrobials in farm animals.

Finally, ROADMAP has an impact on a wide range of actors involved in the overhaul of animal production management. By combining economic, social, animal and veterinary sciences, ROADMAP will provide not only effective technical solutions to promote prudent antimicrobial use, but also socio-economic tools and incentives that will ensure their acceptability and thus their implementation. Transition pathways involving all food and pharmaceutical supply chains will indeed promote an overall reduction in antimicrobial use, driven by a combination of strategies adapted to different production systems.