Exploring the relationship between mastitis risk perceptions and farmers’ readiness to engage in milk recording
Multifaceted risk perceptions
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CitationÁine Regan, Seán Clifford, Alison M.G. Burrell, Lorraine Balaine, Emma Dillon, Exploring the relationship between mastitis risk perceptions and farmers’ readiness to engage in milk recording, Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Volume 193, 2021, 105393, ISSN 0167-5877, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2021.105393.
AbstractThe need to move towards Selective Dry Cow Therapy (SDCT) has become increasingly pertinent as a means to reduce the use of antibiotics in the dairy sector. With the EU 2022 ban on prophylactic antibiotics at drying off, practices on some farms will need to drastically change. In Ireland, one particular challenge to the sector-wide transition to SDCT is the lack of widespread uptake of milk recording across dairy farms, a decision support tool which can support mastitis control and help identify cows to select for SDCT. The current study examined readiness to engage in milk recording amongst Irish dairy farmers, and specifically investigated the role of mastitis risk perceptions in shaping farmers’ readiness. The study explores the multifaceted nature of risk perception as a construct shaping farmers’ attitudes. An online survey was carried out with 197 Irish dairy farmers exploring their attitudes towards mastitis and milk recording. A cluster analysis classified farmers according to their mastitis risk perceptions, with 3 segments identified with differing risk perception profiles. Elevated mastitis risk perceptions were linked to an increased readiness to milk record. However, this relationship was not universal across all farmers. One segment of farmers in the current study maintain low mastitis risk perceptions and remain unmotivated to engage in milk recording. The study concludes that targeted risk communication strategies related to mastitis and milk recording are needed to encourage the move towards SDCT and reduced AMR. Results suggest that the types of risk communication strategies – message framing and two-way risk communication – should reflect farmers’ types of mastitis risk perceptions to have the most effective impact on milk recording uptake.
FunderAnimal Health Ireland
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