ViParc project updates partners, discusses antibiotic use and antimicrobial residues in livestock production in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, 21 March 2017 – Meat sold at wet- and super-markets in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap is more likely to contain antimicrobial residues than meat sold in the urban hubs of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – ViParc study shows.
Antibiotics were detected in a higher percentage in samples from Dong Thap (15.8%) – including beef (25%), chicken (15%) and pork (7.5%), compared with samples from Hanoi (1.7%) and Ho Chi Minh City (4.3%) – according to ViParc researchers, who tested a total of 356 meat cuts from those areas between early November 2016 and mid-March 2017. Sample and data collection has been down in collaboration with the Dong Thap Sub-Department of Animal Health (DT-SDAH) and the National Veterinary Research Institute (NIVR) in Hanoi.
Such finding was discussed by DT-SDAH, the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – ViParc project stakeholders who convened for a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City last Friday.
ViParc meeting at OUCRU
Meeting participants also revisited possible links between antibiotic-contaminated meat and the abuse of antimicrobial drugs, which is widespread in Vietnam’s livestock industry.
Along these lines, ViParc aims to help Mekong Delta farmers raise better chickens with lesser amounts of antibiotics in a large trial including 120 farms in Dong Thap.
“We’d like to provide each participating farmer with a performance report that includes a simple breakdown of variables most relevant to them, such as flock mortalities, revenues and production costs, as well as information as to whether the chicken meat produced at each cycle contains antimicrobial residues or not,” said Dr. Juan J. Carrique-Mas, the project’s principal investigator. That way the farmers themselves can decide how to adjust for better farming practices, he added.
ViParc is expected to involve various community members and take a holistic look at factors of importance to them, including flock health, socio-economic considerations, use of antimicrobials as well as the relationship between farmers with local veterinarians and pharmacists. Accordingly, the project will roll out more activities in the province later this year, such as farmer training workshops and building capacity for DT-SDAH staff in preparation for the intervention phase.
ViParc, or “Vietnamese Platform for Antimicrobial Reductions in Chicken production,” is led by OUCRU in Ho Chi Minh City and funded by the Wellcome Trust. It is designed with a one-year baseline, followed by an intervention phase of 18 months. Preliminary data from the first 50 poultry houses, enrolled since November 2016, are being analyzed by OUCRU scientists.