Antimicrobials, such as antibiotics, revolutionised modern medicine. Today they are used to treat a wide range of infections and reduce the risk of numerous medical procedures. But rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens our ability to treat dangerous infections. There are numerous routes through which resistant bacteria and genes can become established and spread, one is via livestock farming.
The last 30 years have demonstrated how AMR is a constantly evolving issue. Despite successful measures to reduce antibiotic use in Norwegian farming, it has not been enough to stop the establishment of AMR bacteria in livestock herds through other pathways. What might the next 30 years hold? Climate change disruptions, changing systems of livestock farming, the movement of people, animals, and other goods globally, pandemic shocks and declining financial support for agriculture will further create new challenges. How can the Norway respond to these emergent AMR problems and others not yet anticipated?
The LIMBO project aims to assess what future developments over the next 10-30 years might mean for Norwegian livestock farming, the AMR threats it will face, and assist Norwegian authorities and stakeholders in developing AMR governance strategies to prepare for different future scenarios.
The project will: 1) Identify the drivers of past decisions and strategies on AMR in Norway and Europe. 2) Identify the future societal, political, economic, agricultural, and environmental drivers of AMR threats. 3) Assess the capacity for policy and strategic action address these AMR risks. 4) Evaluate the animal health and welfare implications and model the socio-economic consequences of continued antibiotic reductions and action on AMR. 5) Examine critical success factors for the adoption of further AMR management measures in farming. 6) Develop policy guidelines to inform future strategies, which will be robust in any future scenario for managing AMR in animal agriculture.
The last 30 years have shown how quickly the picture of AMR in Norwegian agriculture can change. Antibiotic use fell 44% since 1995 but this has not been enough to prevent the establishment of AMR bacteria in livestock herds through other pathways. Clinically significant AMR bacteria were detected in swine and poultry in 2013 resulting in costly eradication measures to manage this threat. What might the next 30 years hold?
Food-borne pathogens Salmonella and Campylobacter are becoming increasingly resistant to carbapenems, a last resort antibiotic. Climate change and environmental pollution will contribute to rising AMR and unleashing new pathogens. Whereas COVID-19 looks set to redefine the fiscal landscape in Norway, and globally, with unknown implications for agriculture markets and industry capacity to undertake new action on AMR. This illustrates how AMR presents a constant challenge, a struggle between changing biological, environmental, social, and economic systems, and the development of systems to prevent AMR. How can Norway best respond to these emergent AMR problems and others not yet anticipated? How might changing societal, economic, environmental, and political contexts impact on Norwegian agriculture and its ability to respond?
The aim of LIMBO is to assist Norwegian authorities and stakeholders by anticipating and preparing for future AMR challenges. The project focuses on identifying and evaluating future risk drivers and developing plausible future scenarios to enable stakeholders to assess diverse future outcomes. These scenarios will facilitate long-term planning and strategy development. We evaluate these strategies through socio-economic modelling and survey methods to identify critical success factors for adoption.
The outcome for society of the LIMBO project is that it will assist Norwegian authorities and stakeholders to prepare for future AMR challenges in the coming decades.