Disease monitoring and reporting among Australian beef and sheep producers: A cross-sectional study of levels of responsibility for surveillance

Marta Hernandez-Jover, Jennifer Manyweathers, Yiheyis Maru, Barton Loechel, Aditi Mankad, Heleen Kruger, Lynne Hayes, Rob Woodgate

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

As part of a project to improve animal health surveillance, a cross-sectional study was undertaken to characterise the vulnerability of Australian livestock producers to emergency animal diseases.
Materials and methods: An online survey was developed using a vulnerability framework and distributed through government and industry groups nationally. This paper explores current levels of trust around animal health monitoring and reporting within the beef and sheep industries. Data were analysed descriptively and logistic regression analysis was used to characterise producers.
Results: A total of 234 beef and 194 sheep producers completed the survey. The majority of beef and sheep producers identified themselves as being responsible for observing their animals (93%) and reporting unusual signs of disease in their animals (92.5%). Self-responsibility was lower for disease detection, with 20% producers identifying others as responsible. No significant differences were observed between beef and sheep producers. Of a total of 915 beef cattle health problems recalled in the last 12 months (average 5 per respondent), 33.9% (average 2 per respondent) were reported to a private or government veterinarian. When asked about actions in the event of unusual signs of disease, 90% of beef and 82% of sheep producers, ranked contacting private veterinarians in their top five activities. The majority of beef and sheep producers reported high levels of trust in private veterinarians (85%), with 65% producers reporting high trust with their government veterinarian.
Conclusion: This study indicates that producers perceive a high level of self-responsibility for observing their animals and reporting diseases. However, their perceived responsibility in detecting diseases is lower. In addition, the level of reporting of animal health problems is low. Findings from this study suggest that producer practices in relation to passive surveillance could be improved and there is potential for enhancing surveillance with more effective producer – veterinarian relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2018
EventInternational Symposium for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics - Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 12 Nov 201816 Nov 2018

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics
CountryThailand
CityChiang Mai
Period12/11/1816/11/18

Grant Number

  • 101905

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