Date of Award

2019

Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Animal Science

Department

Animal Science

Advisor

Jennifer Wishnie, DVM, MSc, MPH, DACVPM

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to support the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) with education and outreach about recent changes regarding antimicrobial use in livestock, and to enhance their emergency communications network. This was done by characterizing a population of small-scale livestock owners underserved with regards to educational outreach about animal health issues, such as antimicrobial use rules. The project also seeks to enhance public understanding of the importance of responsible antimicrobial use in animal and human health.

To accomplish this, the study used a survey administered in person at local farm supply stores and online to investigate the level of understanding of antimicrobial rules among livestock owners in San Luis Obispo county. The survey gathered information about the livestock owners’ practices, connection to livestock groups, and access to information pertaining to animal health among other things.

The results of the survey showed that respondents were largely unaware of new rules pertaining to use of antimicrobials in livestock. Familiarity with California rules of this kind was used as an indicator of access to information about animal health and was found to correlate positively with knowledge about antimicrobial resistance and familiarity with federal rules concerning antimicrobial use in livestock. As predicted, respondents with a connection to 4-H and FFA had greater familiarity with both federal and state rules concerning antimicrobial use in livestock.

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