Additive Bayesian Network analysis of associations between antimicrobial consumption, biosecurity, vaccination and productivity in Danish sow herds

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In modern livestock farming, there is an increasing understanding that antimicrobial (AM) consumption must be kept low - preferably without compromising animal welfare or productivity. This requires an understanding of the relationship between AM use, productivity, biosecurity, vaccination and herd demographics. To obtain this, we undertook an Additive Bayesian Network analysis using data from 2014 to 2015, covering 157 Danish sow herds with weaners. In general, productivity and biosecurity were high, and AM consumption low. No association was found between prescribed AM and productivity. Other variables, such as biosecurity and enrolment in the Danish Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) system, had stronger associations with sow productivity than AM consumption. In the weaner unit, an association between AM consumption and certain vaccination practices was found, suggesting that vaccines might be used to control preexisting problems. The results reveal that most Danish sow producers are able to maintain productivity while using low amounts of AMs. This conclusion must be interpreted within the context of Danish pig farming i.e. generally high biosecurity and many years of official restrictions aiming at reducing AM consumption.

TidsskriftPreventive Veterinary Medicine
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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