Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) - Viet Nam

AMR and Food Safety


Food-borne zoonoses are a major public health challenge in Viet Nam. Food and food products are common vehicles for these infections. Poor hygiene standards in the marketing and slaughtering of animal derived products increases the risk of zoonotic infections in the humans, and restaurant or street food stalls can exacerbate the problems. Potential food borne pathogens can also be transmitted into the environment in situations of unhygienic livestock production, poor biosecurity, and inadequate sanitation or water quality at farms and slaughter points.

A number of zoonoses are known to be present in the country, and their incidence is thought to be very high, although exact figures are not available. Some zoonotic diseases also cause important production losses in livestock, while others circulate silently, representing a further challenge for control. In all cases, the incidence of infections in humans is reduced when adequate marketing and slaughtering practices are implemented, and proper husbandry and hygiene practices are in place.

In developing countries such as Viet Nam, the misuse or overuse antibiotics and antimicrobials at farms is also a challenge associated with lack of knowledge by farmers, a lack of monitoring drug-use at farms and in feed, gaps in regulations, and weak law enforcement. Problems can be found in most types of livestock farming systems, but it is of greatest concern in medium and small scale poultry and pig production since more than 70% of the Vietnamese population raises some livestock for consumption in or around their household. Collectively, this results in: 1) large amounts of antibiotics in food animals and poses a food safety health hazard; 2) large amounts of antibiotics in the environment and changes in biological diversity; and 3) a growing antimicrobial resistance problem when people and animals get bacterial infections.

FAO ECTAD is supporting the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment and health in combatting food borne diseases and antimicrobial resistance issues stemming from the intensification and expansion of livestock farming systems in country.