Health and Antibiotics in Vietnamese Pig Production


Start date: 1 February, 2018 End date: 31 December, 2021 Project type: Research projects in countries with targeted development cooperation (earlier Window 2) Project code: 17-M06-KU Countries: Vietnam Thematic areas: Food security and safety, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Partner institutions: Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Denmark International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Vietnam National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Vietnam National Institute of Veterinary Research (NIVR), Vietnam Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Anders Dalsgaard Total grant: 4,999,418 DKK

Project summary

Vietnam’s economy and population are growing rapidly. Production and consumption of animal products are increasing even faster. To manage pig diseases and increase meat production, farmers are turning to antibiotics and other antimicrobials, creating a hotbed for zoonotic diseases and resistance to antibiotic drugs. Research has linked heavy use of veterinary antibiotics to a rise of antibiotic resistance in humans, in part through contaminated food products. WHO regards antibiotic resistance as one of the most important threats to human health because diminished effectiveness of antibiotic treatments. Tainted food also threatens consumer trust and the long-term health of the pig industry.

At present much is unknown about the scale and the drivers of the problem. Early sampling studies have found alarming rates of antibiotics use, antibiotic resistance in pigs and antibiotic drug residues in pork, but firm data is lacking. Even less is known about the drivers of antibiotic use at the farm level. We do not know how farmers perceive risks and benefits of antibiotic use, on which information they act, or how information, regulation and stakeholder interaction could foster more prudent antibiotic use practices. However, it is clear that Vietnam needs effective, evidence-based intervention strategies to reduce antibiotic use in its pig industry, tailored to local circumstances and stakeholders.

The VIDA-PIG project will help fill these gaps. It will use established ‘One Health’ approaches to map the many drivers of antibiotics use and antibiotic resistance across the Vietnamese pig value chain. It will collect baseline data, set up local stakeholder networks, garner insight into stakeholders’ knowledge and rationale and do small-scale testing of a newly designed intervention.
Project outcomes will be used to design and test larger, well targeted interventions aimed at reducing antibiotic resistance risks for Vietnamese consumers, patients and farmers.


Midterm report
The ’Health and Antibiotics in Vietnamese Pig Production’ (VIDA-PIG) project has through a One Health approach mapped the network of factors that drive antimicrobial use and resistance across the Vietnamese pig value chain. Field work with pig farmers in Bac Ninh province has provided a firm baseline for analyses of local networks and stakeholders’ rationales for antimicrobial use.

Resistance levels are high in pigs and farm workers; also to antimicrobials of clinical importance in humans. Pig feed was shown to contain low levels of Salmonella and mycotoxins, but antimicrobials were detected in commercial feed products. Needed individual and institutional research capacity have been build. VIDA-PIG work and share information with the Strategic Sector Cooperation partners to support their activities. In a second project phase, outcomes will be used to design larger, well targeted interventions to reduce antimicrobial use and resistance in pig production.

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