‘It’s the dollar value… isn’t it?’ Form, function and efficacy of veterinary advice for farmer behaviour change: a qualitative investigation

Alison Bard, David Main, Anne Haase, Emma Roe, Becky Whay, Kristen Reyher

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther Conference Contributionpeer-review


In the UK dairy industry, mastitis is an endemic disease that represents both a financial and emotional burden for dairy farmers and a less than ideal state for the dairy cow. Despite significant advances in scientific research into the risk factors and management strategies implicit in its occurrence, mastitis remains a significant issue for many farms, suggesting implementation of this research in on-farm housing and management is still inadequate.
Farmers increasingly rely on veterinarians as their primary source of information for mastitis management, meaning their engagement with veterinary advice is critical to generate meaningful improvements in incidence rates. The places veterinary communication at the heart of the issue of mastitis reduction. However, whilst veterinarians recognise their influence and the need to be proactive communicators, they struggle with acting upon this awareness in daily practice. Communication of this advice is complex, with veterinarians needing to simultaneously convey accurate and up to date expertise on management whilst promoting farmer engagement with behaviour change (whether administering treatments, enacting management processes, or a multitude of other actions).
In order to enhance the uptake of veterinary advice, a deeper understanding of cattle veterinarian communication and its effects on client motivation is essential. This study offers unique qualitative insight into how cattle veterinarians currently communicate on matters of herd health (mastitis and lameness), allowing reflection on the possible motivation of veterinarians within them, and the resulting effect on client participation. Recommendations to enhance the uptake of advice are made in conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2016
EventBritish Mastitis Conference, 2016 - Worcester, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Nov 2016 → …


ConferenceBritish Mastitis Conference, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period2/11/16 → …
Other1 day event


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