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PREVENTIVE biosecurity measures, such as isolation of purchased animals, are well documented in the literature (Duncan 1990, Maunsell and Donovan 2008, Noremark and others 2009) and biosecurity has been highlighted as a key intervention for many of the important diseases affecting cattle in the UK (Scott 2013). There is evidence that not many practices are being undertaken by producers and various explanations have been suggested (Nerlich and Wright 2006, Brennan and Christley 2012, Brennan and Christley 2013). In comparison, there is limited literature on cattle veterinarians’ knowledge and opinions about biosecurity. There has been debate in previous studies as to whether biosecurity advice is being given by veterinarians and whether they feel qualified, or sure about what to advise (Gunn and others 2008, Jansen and Lam 2012). Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the understanding and awareness of current on-farm biosecurity practices among cattle veterinarians in the UK.
The target population was cattle veterinarians in the UK, with the sampling frame being cattle veterinarians who attended the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) congress in 2010. Eligible participants had to be undertaking cattle clinical work. A paper-based questionnaire was constructed (available on request), covering topics such as definitions of biosecurity, the perceived usefulness of practices, where veterinarians learnt about and sourced biosecurity information, and the specific biosecurity protocols veterinarians carried out on farms. The questionnaire underwent a pretest and pilot phase to minimise question ambiguity. Personal information, such as name or address, was not collected to ensure anonymity. A digital camera prize …
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