Advisors and policy-makers are key to this project. They play an important role in influencing the health and welfare of farm animals and how endemic diseases are managed on farms. Food animal production is important to these stakeholders in the light of concerns about antimicrobial resistance, and in terms of the One Health movement, which recognises that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected.
Our activities include:
- Events to explore ideas about animal health and disease with members of the public
- A survey of how farmers perceive and manage livestock health and disease
- In-depth interviews with farmers and farm advisors to hear what their priorities are, and the problems they face in managing livestock disease
- Focus groups with farmers, and one-to-one farm walks to learn about spatial aspects of disease management
- Building a series of computer models to simulate different disease scenarios and explore the relationships between farmers' decisions and disease control
- Focus groups with consumers to explore animal product preferences and their responses to on-farm disease management practices
- Constructing a timeline of key events and historical material
- A knowledge exchange workshop with farm advisors to check that our findings make sense on the ground
This investigation of how farmers, advisors and consumers understand, manage and talk about disease will show what factors have shaped perceptions of livestock disease in the past and those that shape it today. Our collaborators will ensure that our work has real-world relevance and advise on guidance for the industry.