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    Pig farmers' perceptions, attitudes, influences and management of information in the decision-making process for disease control

    Alarcon, P. and Mateus, A. and Dewberry, Chris (2014) Pig farmers' perceptions, attitudes, influences and management of information in the decision-making process for disease control. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 116 (3), pp. 223-242. ISSN 0167-5877.

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    The objectives of this study were (1) to explore the factors involved in the decision-making process used by pig farmers for disease control and (2) to investigate pig farmers’ attitudes and perceptions about different information sources relating to disease control. In 2011 a qualitative study involving 20 face-to-face interviews with English pig farmers was conducted. The questionnaire was composed of three parts. The first part required farmers to identify two diseases they had experienced and which were difficult to recognize and/or control. They were asked to report how the disease problem was recognized, how the need for control was decided, and what affected the choice of control approach. For the latter, a structure related to the Theory of Planned Behaviour was used. Their verbal responses were classified as associated with: (1) attitude and beliefs, (2) subjective norms, or (3) perceived behavioural control (PBC). In the second part, five key sources of information for disease control and barriers to knowledge were investigated. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. A qualitative analysis of the text of the interview transcripts was carried out using templates. Drivers for disease control were ‘pig mortality’, ‘feeling of entering in an economically critical situation’, ‘animal welfare’ and ‘feeling of despair’. Veterinarians were perceived by several participating farmers, as the most trusted information sources on disease control. However, in particular non-sustainable situations, other producers, and especially experiences from abroad, seemed to considerably influence the farmers’ decision-making. ‘Lack of knowledge’, ‘farm structure and management barriers’ and ‘economic constrains’ were identified in relation to PBC. Several negative themes, such as ‘lack of communication’, ‘not knowing where to look’, and ‘information bias were associated with research from academia. This study identified a range of factors influencing the decision-making process for disease control by pig farmers. In addition, it highlighted the lack of awareness and difficult access of producers to current scientific research outputs. The factors identified should be considered when developing communication strategies to disseminate research findings and advice for disease control.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Decision-making process, Disease control, Theory of planned behaviour, Qualitative analysis, Pig farmers, Information sources
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Chris Dewberry
    Date Deposited: 31 May 2018 15:27
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:42


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