Broiler producers´ perspectives on bacterial resilience; evaluating a potential of hops
Abstract: An interview study was undertaken to explore Swedish broiler producers´ views for the potential of hops (H. lupulus L.) to reduce reliance on ionophorous coccidiostats in broiler production. The design was a mixed methodology between grounded theory and case study with a semi structured interview method. Nine producers, four using ionophorous coccidiostats and five without reliance in production accepted interview. During interviews participants were presented to research conducted with hops in production and consequences from ionophores in production. All participants thought the risk from pathogen pressure was too great to cut reliance in intensive production owed to the lower efficacy of hops. Therefore owed to how actors in the Swedish food system behave only small producers with enough economical freedom for reduced stocking densities were regarded to be able to uphold animal health with hops. Six parameters within food systems were regarded as leverage points for a potential of hops in production on a larger societal scale if encouraging a more extensive nationwide production system. Those were: purchase will, small local production, increased responsibility within trade, law, elevated consumers and research. Law was seen as a necessity to enforce all other denominators since economical in food systems tend to override social and ecological dimensions. Consequences from power struggle in food systems disfavoring producers has although resulted in a great distrust towards other system actors such as consumers, legal institutions or wholesalers. That has created a reluctance to interact with other system actors even for common goals. A stronger position to other actors in food systems was regarded as increasing a meaningful outcome from interaction. Four parameters emerged as impacting power relations in a system the most: Purchase will, contracts, own designed production and law. Favorable purchase will and law would contribute the most for increasing adaptivity for alternatives in production by impacting on power relations. No producers had observed indicators of bacterial resistance from ionophorous coccidiostat usage. Lack of research for many years in the field was troublesome for how to develop the enterprise according to participants. Especially in relation to Norway that has abolished the static use of ionophorous coccidiostats in production. About half of the participants although regarded a shift in research towards consequences from intensive production as equally important as focusing on alternative antimicrobials.
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