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Subtherapeutic Antibiotics and Productivity in U.S. Hog Production

William McBride, Nigel Key and Kenneth Mathews

Review of Agricultural Economics, 2008, vol. 30, issue 2, 270-288

Abstract: Antimicrobial drugs are fed to hogs at subtherapeutic levels to prevent disease and promote growth. However, there is concern that the presence of antimicrobial drugs in hog feed is a factor promoting the development of antimicrobial drug-resistant bacteria. This study uses a treatment-effects sample-selection model to examine the impact that feeding antibiotics has on the productivity of U.S. hog operations. No relationship was found between productivity and antibiotics fed during finishing, but productivity was significantly improved when antibiotics were fed to nursery pigs. Restrictions on feeding antimicrobial drugs during the nursery phase would likely impose significant economic costs on U.S. hog producers.

Date: 2008
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Journal Article: Subtherapeutic Antibiotics and Productivity in U.S. Hog Production (2008) Downloads
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