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U.S. Consumer Attitudes toward Antibiotic Use in Livestock Production

Syed Imran Ali Meerza (), Sabrina Gulab (), Kathleen Brooks, Christopher Gustafson () and Amalia Yiannaka ()
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Syed Imran Ali Meerza: Department of Agriculture, Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, AR 72801, USA
Sabrina Gulab: Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
Amalia Yiannaka: Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 12, 1-20

Abstract: Antimicrobial resistance, which decreases the efficacy of antibiotics and other antimicrobials, has led to concerns about the use of antibiotics in livestock production. Consumers play an important role in influencing producers’ decisions about the use of antimicrobials through their choices in the marketplace, which are driven by attitudes toward these practices. This study examines consumers’ levels of concern about (and acceptance of) the use of antibiotics in livestock production for four objectives: to treat, control, and prevent infections, and to promote growth. Results reveal that the majority of respondents were highly concerned about antibiotic use to promote growth in livestock production and considered this use to be unacceptable. Participants with higher objective knowledge of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use in livestock production were more likely to accept antibiotic use to treat and control disease, but less likely to accept its use to prevent disease or to promote growth. Participants with high levels of trust in the livestock industry were more likely to accept antibiotic use to control and prevent infections and to be neutral about antibiotic use to promote growth in food animals. Respondents who believed that antibiotic use decreases animal welfare were more likely to be very concerned about antibiotic use to treat, prevent, and control disease, and less likely to accept antibiotic use to treat diseases in food animals. The study findings should be of interest to producers considering the adoption of sustainable technologies and production practices, food retailers making procurement decisions, and policymakers identifying policies that can alleviate antimicrobial resistance in the agri-food sector.

Keywords: antibiotics; antimicrobial resistance; livestock production; consumer attitudes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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