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Differing opinions on dairy farm biosecurity in Ireland

R. G. Sayers, M. Good, G. P. Sayers

AS the global dairy industry increases in scale, maintaining effective biosecurity measures on dairy farms is becoming increasingly important. In a number of countries, both veterinarians and dairy advisers support farmers in implementing effective farm management. This study aimed to compare the opinions of veterinarians and dairy advisers in the Republic of Ireland, as well as an international panel of veterinary experts, on how to implement biosecurity measures.

Three questionnaires were designed and distributed – one to veterinary practitioners who worked on dairy farms across Ireland, one to recently retired dairy advisers from across Ireland, and the other to nominated veterinary experts from around the world.

Responses were received from 111 veterinarians, 80 dairy advisers and 22 veterinary experts. The results indicated that veterinarians were more than twice as likely to advise clients about biosecurity measures than dairy advisers and that the implementation of basic biosecurity hygiene methods was poorer among dairy advisers than among veterinarians. Overall, the degree of communication between veterinarians and dairy advisers was found to be low, with two-thirds of dairy advisers stating that they never communicated with veterinarians. The authors suggest that …

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