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Rural veterinarian's perception and practices in terms of biosecurity across three European countries
- Renault, V., Humblet, M. F., Moons, V., Bosquet, G., Gauthier, B., Cebrián, L. M., Casal, J., Saegerman, C.
- Transboundary and emerging diseases 2018 v.65 no.1 pp. e183
- animal health, biocontainment, biosecurity, cattle, disease prevention, disease transmission, emerging diseases, farmers, farms, regression analysis, risk factors, surveys, veterinarians, Belgium, France, Spain
- The implementation of biosecurity measures in the animal health and production context is quite broad and aims at limiting the risk of introduction and spread of diseases. Veterinarians play a major role in biosecurity as key informants on the subject for cattle holders, key players in terms of disease prevention/control and eradication programs, as well as key risk factor in terms of disease dissemination. Many biosecurity studies have highlighted professional visitors such as veterinary practitioners as representing a high‐risk factor in terms of disease introduction in animal facilities but, to date, very few studies have focused on the implementation level of biosecurity measures by veterinarians. An online survey was implemented in three European countries (Belgium, France and Spain) to assess the behaviour of rural veterinarians towards biosecurity, as well as their implementation level of the biosecurity measures. A descriptive analysis of data and a scoring system were applied to assess the implementation level of measures. The influence of different factors on the implementation level of biosecurity measures was investigated through a negative binomial regression model. The study identified different strengths, weaknesses, possible constraints and solutions in terms of veterinary perspectives. Veterinarians are considered as key informants by the farmers and could therefore play a more active role in terms of guidance and improvement of biosecurity at farm level. Based on the survey outcomes, two factors seemed to influence significantly the implementation level of measures: the country where he/she practices and the veterinarian's perception level of biosecurity. The biosecurity stages with the lowest application level, therefore representing the biggest threats, were bio‐exclusion (increasing the risk of disease introduction) and biocontainment (increasing the risk of inter‐herd transmission).