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Calling all livestock farmers in England and Scotland.

We need your expertise to help develop better understandings of endemic livestock disease. We are a Wellcome Trust funded research project aiming to help tackle endemic diseases in the UK’s cattle and sheep population. We’d like to hear from farmers in England and Scotland who keep dairy/beef cattle and/or sheep to learn from your experiences of BVD and lameness. Working with farmers and industry and advisory partners, the research aims to identify interventions which help to reduce the incidence of these disease and their costs to UK farming.

Given there is different policy on BVD in England and Scotland, there are two versions of the survey.

For more information on the research see below.

We invite you to participate in FIELD: a research project aiming to help tackle endemic diseases in the UK’s cattle and sheep population.

  • FIELD is funded by the Wellcome Trust and is run by a group of researchers from six UK universities, all interested in the challenges posed to livestock health, welfare and productivity by endemic diseases.
  • Endemic diseases are common but difficult to eradicate and they have an impact on animal health, welfare and productivity. FIELD focuses on Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) and lameness as two contrasting examples of these diseases
  • The research involves:
    • Investigating the history of BVD and lameness to see what we can learn from the past
    • Working with present day farmers and vets to find out what problems these diseases cause on farms and how farmers and vets deal with these problems
    • Creating economic and epidemiological models which aim to identify how transmissible diseases like BVD move between animals and farms, helping us to identify areas of risk in farming systems

A key part of the research is recording information about how farmers make decisions, and this is where we need your help.

What will taking part involve?

  • We would like farmers who keep dairy/beef cattle, and/or sheep to complete a short online survey
  • The survey should last no longer than 30 minutes and can be completed at a time convenient to you.
  • The survey is divided into four sections. In the first two sections, you will be presented with example “choice scenarios” of different farm management options, and you will be asked to pick your most preferred option. In the third section, you will be provided with various lotteries and asked to pick the lottery you are most likely to choose and the lottery you think other farmers are most likely to choose. The fourth section concludes by asking some general questions about your farming practices.
  • Your participation will be in confidence: you and your farm would not be identifiable in any of the research outputs or communications and all data collected will be stored securely.

What are the benefits of participating?

  • We will consider different attitudes and preferences for disease management, and what their impacts are for animals and farm businesses. We will model if diseases can be better managed, and if so how. We want to identify ‘best bet’ interventions to help reduce the incidence of these diseases and their costs to UK farming.
  • Your involvement will mean you are contributing to efforts to reduce the incidence of endemic diseases such as BVD and lameness. These conditions may be costly and reduce animal welfare.
  • You will have the option of being sent a copy of our findings as a policy and practice note and being kept informed of any additional dissemination and engagement activities resulting from the research
  • For every complete survey £5 will be donated to the Farming Community Network charity or the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolant Institution for the English and Scottish versions of the survey respectively.

If you are willing to take part …

For farmers in England click here.

For farms in Scotland click here.

We are very happy to respond to any questions you may have about the project or about becoming involved.