Engaging farmers in biosecurity practices: Challenges and pathways

Marta Hernandez-Jover, Vaughan Higgins, Yiheyis Maru, Jennifer Manyweathers, Barton Loechel

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


On-farm biosecurity is crucial for the prevention of disease introductions and spread and to minimize the impact of disease outbreaks. However, research continues to find that while farmers are overwhelmingly committed to animal health and have a high concern for disease threats, this concern does not necessarily translate into on-farm practices. Explanations for why farmers show low adoption rates of biosecurity practices focus on factors that are internal and external to the individual. Knowledge of disease transmission, perception of risks, sense of self-responsibility in preventing disease and attitudes towards biosecurity are considered internal factors. These are in turn affected by external social, cultural, economic and institutional factors, such as the level of information and support for producers, the available networks, business and market arrangements, the regulatory context and the media. Research identifies a perception among producers that biosecurity originates externally and as such, should be managed by government. Individual behaviour and practices around biosecurity are the result of complex interaction of internal and external factors and any program developed to improve biosecurity engagement needs to
consider this complexity. In complex systems such as this one, solutions are not simple and approaches for improvement must consider different perspectives and components part of the system and how they interact with each other.
The panel will consider how to make sense of this complexity in a way that enables industry and policymakers to engage farmers more effectively in biosecurity practices. A key aim of the panel is to begin to identify pathways to biosecurity adoption that respect and build on producers’ existing animal,
plant and herd health practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2019
Event2019 Australian Biosecurity Symposium - Crowne Plaza Hotel, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 12 Jun 201913 Jun 2019
https://www.biosym.com.au/program/ (program and proceedings NOTE - only abstracts published)


Conference2019 Australian Biosecurity Symposium
Abbreviated titleBiosecurity
CityGold Coast
Internet address


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