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Responses of farmers to the introduction of premovement testing for bovine TB

R. M. Christley, S. E. Robinson, B. Moore, C. Setzkorn, I. Donald

PREMOVEMENT testing for bovine tuberculosis (TB) was introduced in England and Wales in two phases starting in 2006. This study investigated farmers' responses to premovement testing in relation to the movement of animals.

Questionnaires were sent to 200 farmers in each of four regions of Great Britain, deliberately selected to represent a range of TB risk. The questionnaire investigated the attitudes and perceived behavioural responses of farmers to the introduction of premovement testing, and included an open-ended question asking farmers to describe whether they had changed any aspect of farm management since the introduction of premovement testing and whether they thought other farmers had. Cattle movement data for Great Britain from 2003 to 2007 were obtained from Defra's RADAR (Rapid Analysis and Detection of Animal-related Risks) database to investigate the impact of the first phase of premovement testing only.

Thirty-one per cent of farmers responded to the questionnaire. Of these, 65 per cent believed they had not changed their behaviour in response to premovement testing; the main changes reported were related to …

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