In order to increase compliance with treatment procedures and thereby ensure food safety and animal welfare, those in charge of food-producing animals should be trained in how to administer drugs properly. Better communication between the health service, management and farmers can increase compliance with medical treatments and lead to better results when it comes to combating sickness on fish farms.
The term “compliance” in veterinary medicine is defined by several writers as the degree to which animal owners follow instructions when they give prescribed drugs to their animals. The term is also used to describe the extent to which laws, regulations, guidelines, professional principles and treatment protocols are complied with.
Most of the studies carried out on compliance and non-compliance with drug treatments have focused on medicine for humans. Anne-Grethe Trønsdal Berg’s PhD project looks at medical compliance on Norwegian fish farms. In her thesis, Berg discusses factors that can influence the degree of compliance in the field of veterinary medicine. She discovered that theories on compliance and factors that influence compliance in human medicine can be applied to veterinary medicine.
Berg developed an index to measure the management of medical treatments. She found that medicine management was generally good in a selection of fish farms, with the exception of the following critical points:
- The veterinary surgeon was not always at the farm when he/she prescribed the drugs
- Inadequate routines for the storage of drugs and unsatisfactory labelling of the drug containers
- In some cases, drugs were used on farms other than those they were prescribed for
Berg found that fish farmers were non-compliant to varying degrees as regards following information and procedures for using anesthetics prescribed by the fish health service. The underlying factors for this can be regarded as a management problem. Measurements of the concentration of a salmon lice agent (emamectin bensoate) in the blood of salmon after a course of treatment given via fish fodder showed that divergent concentrations depended on the fishes’ varying appetite and that other health conditions could influence the success of the treatment.
Cand.med. Anne-Grethe Trønsdal Berg defended her doctoral thesis on Friday 26th August 2011 at The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. Her thesis is entitled:”Compliance in veterinary medicine: medicine management and medicine compliance in aquaculture.”
Anne-Grethe Trønsdal Berg was born in 1960 and grew up in Trondheim, Norway. She completed her degree at The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science in 1995 and worked at a veterinary practice for large animals and in aquaculture in Osen and Roan until 2008. Berg has also held a post as lecturer at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Nord-Trøndelag University College (HiNT) since 2001. In 2004, she was appointed a research fellow at HiNT, in collaboration with NVH. Berg now works as a senior inspector at the Innherred District Office of The Norwegian Food Safety Authority in Steinkjer.
Anne-Grethe Trønsdal Berg, tel: +47 74 11 34 05, email: email@example.com
Magnhild Jenssen, Information Officer at NVH, tel: +47 77 66 54 01, mobile: +47 957 94 830