The team*, currently implementing a project to reduce the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) on poultry farms in Georgia, visited laboratories, attended training, and met with the broader ICARS team.
The primary purpose of the visit was to attend a course organised by the University of Copenhagen. The training objectives were to advance the knowledge and experience of the Georgian team on poultry farm management and antimicrobial use. With a focus on optimising rearing practices to phase out antimicrobials, the team attended lectures on:
- Poultry herd diseases, biosecurity, hygiene, and antimicrobial use in Denmark
- Zoonosis control and foodborne disease outbreak investigations
- The Danish monitoring programs for monitoring antimicrobial use (VETSTAT/VPL) and the Danish antimicrobial monitoring program (DANMAP/TBA) that has been operational since 2000.
Apart from class-based learning, the team also entered laboratories to learn about antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) and visited different types of Danish poultry farms to share experiences and challenges with Danish farmers. A knowledge exchange that proved valuable and may continue via online meetings between Georgian and Danish farmers.
Speaking about their learnings from the trip, the team reflected:
The challenges in Georgia and Denmark are quite different. Georgia still does not have a ban on using antibiotics for disease prevention or growth promotion and farmers can buy antimicrobials without a prescription. Meanwhile in Denmark, farmers have a good knowledge and experience of eliminating the use of AGPs and welcome antibiotics. Critically, we saw in person how these practices are not compromising animal welfare, productivity, or farm income. The Danish farmers have shown us that it is possible, and we will do our best to demonstrate the same in our project on selected Georgian farms. We thank ICARS for the opportunity.
The visit to Denmark also provided an opportunity for the broader ICARS team to hear about their challenges and experiences of the project so far, discuss preliminary baseline results, and learn more about how the project is running on the ground. Such cross-team sessions facilitate transferability of experience that can help the ICARS team to refine implementation processes and share learning across projects.
Learn more about the poultry project in Georgia: Reducing the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) on poultry farms in Georgia – ICARS (icars-global.org)
*The Georgian delegation in Denmark included Maia Beruashvili, Project Coordinator; Nina Chanishvili, Lead Scientist and Dimitri Gogebashvili, Lead Veterinarian.