How animal agriculture stakeholders define, perceive, and are impacted by antimicrobial resistance: challenging the Wellcome Trust’s Reframing Resistance principles


Humans, animals, and the environment face a universal crisis: antimicrobial resistance (AR). Addressing AR and its multi-disciplinary causes across many sectors including in human and veterinary medicine remains underdeveloped. One barrier to AR efforts is an inconsistent process to incorporate the plenitude of stakeholders about what AR is and how to stifle its development and spread—especially stakeholders from the animal agriculture sector, one of the largest purchasers of antimicrobial drugs. In 2019, The Wellcome Trust released Reframing Resistance: How to communicate about antimicrobial resistance effectively (Reframing Resistance), which proposed the need to establish a consistent and harmonized messaging effort that describes the AR crisis and its global implications for health and wellbeing across all stakeholders. Yet, Reframing Resistance does not specifically engage the animal agriculture community. This study investigates the gap between two principles recommended by Reframing Resistance and animal agriculture stakeholders. For this analysis, the research group conducted 31 semi-structured interviews with a diverse group of United States animal agriculture stakeholders. Participants reported attitudes, beliefs, and practices about a variety of issues, including how they defined AR and what entities the AR crisis impacts most. Exploration of Reframing Resistance’s Principle 2, “explain the fundamentals succinctly” and Principle 3, “emphasis that this is universal issue; it can affect anyone, including you” reveals disagreement in both the fundamentals of AR and consensus of “who” the AR crisis impacts. Principle 2 may do better to acknowledge that animal agriculture stakeholders espouse a complex array of perspectives that cannot be summed up in a single perspective or principle. As a primary tool to combat AR, behavior change must be accomplished first through outreach to stakeholder groups and understanding their perspectives.

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Antimicrobial resistance

Reframing resistance:

How to communicate about antimicrobial resistance effectively


The Wellcome Trust


United States


United States Department of Agriculture


World Health Organization


World Organisation for Animal Health


Non-governmental Organization


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


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We thank all of the animal agriculture stakeholder participants who were gracious and willing to speak their minds and thoughts on record, despite obvious controversies around these issues. We are grateful of Caitlin Ceryes for her help and guidance in qualitative analysis and research. We also acknowledge Joan Casey, Christopher Heaney, and Sara Tartof for their instrumental roles in the ARES Grant and the progression of the ARES project.

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Correspondence to Gabriel K. Innes or Meghan F. Davis VMD, PHD, MPH.

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Innes, G.K., Markos, A., Dalton, K.R. et al. How animal agriculture stakeholders define, perceive, and are impacted by antimicrobial resistance: challenging the Wellcome Trust’s Reframing Resistance principles. Agric Hum Values (2021).

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  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Animal agriculture
  • Qualitative research
  • Antimicrobial use
  • Animal husbandry
  • One Health