22 Aug 2018
This PhD thesis aimed to identify the motivators and barriers of farmers and veterinary surgeons to the implementation of vaccination strategies on British dairy farms.
There is no universal cattle vaccination schedule in Britain, therefore vaccination decisions are made on a farm by farm basis, however there is a paucity of research investigating the decision-making behind dairy cattle vaccination. Twenty-four semi-structured interviews were carried out with dairy farmers and fourteen with veterinary surgeons. The transcripts were subject to thematic analysis which generated five key themes from each of the interview studies.
Farmers and vets perceive vaccines to be an effective and useful tool to control and prevent disease on British dairy farms and are motivated to vaccinate cattle if there is evidence of disease on-farm, or a perceived risk of disease entering a farm. Challenges to cattle vaccination chiefly arise from differences in how risk is perceived by vets and farmers, and farmers’ potential lack of awareness of their herd’s disease status. Enhancing the relationship between farmers and vets is therefore crucial to optimising vaccination decision-making. In order to optimise implementation of vaccination strategies further research including farmer vaccination compliance, vaccine efficacy, methods of communication and risk perception is needed. This will support creation of a practical vaccination strategy, and could provide a basis for national collaborative disease control strategy