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Ellis-Iversen J.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Cook A.J.C.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Watson E.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Nielen M.,University Utrecht | And 3 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2010

The implementation of disease control programs on farms requires an act of behavioral change. This study presents a theoretical framework from behavioral science, combined with basic epidemiological principles to investigate and explain the control of zoonotic agents on cattle farms. A pathway to disease control model was adapted from existing models in behavioral science and human medicine. Field data was used to demonstrate the validity of the model to identify and explain motivational factors for implementation of disease control programs among English and Welsh cattle farmers. The field data consisted of interviews conducted with 43 farmers, which were analyzed to investigate the farmers' perception of responsibility for safe cattle produce as well as the intrinsic and extrinsic barriers that inhibited the implementation of a zoonotic control program on their farms. The model was used to illustrate barriers affecting the implementation process and to classify farmers according to their current level of zoonotic control at each stage within the model. Ordinal multivariable logistic regression was used to identify the motivators associated with different levels of implementation. Younger farmers and/or larger herds were more likely to place financial responsibility upon the industry rather than government and all but two farmers accepted a social responsibility for food safety within cattle production. In general, attitudes towards zoonotic control were positive, but approximately half the farmers showed no intent to control and were inhibited by non-supportive social norms and/or a lack of belief in self-efficacy. The remaining farmers showed intent to control, but had not implemented any structured control program due to external barriers including lack of knowledge and both cultural and economic pressure from society and industry. The farmers with no intent to adopt control measures identified their private veterinarian as the preferred motivator, whereas consumer-demand and financial rewards or penalties were significantly associated with farmers who intended to control. Crown Copyright © 2009.

Wilesmith J.W.,Barton | Ryan J.B.M.,AD Group | Arnold M.E.,AD Group | Stevenson M.A.,Massey University | Burke P.J.,Food and Farming Group
Veterinary Record | Year: 2010

This paper describes the results of analyses of the epidemiological features of the 164 cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Great Britain that were born after the introduction of the reinforced legislation introduced on August 1, 1996 (BARB cases) and that were detected before December 31, 2008. This additional control measure prohibited the use of mammalian meat and bone meal (MMBM) in feed for farm animals to prevent further exposure of cattle to the BSE agent. There was a pronounced reduction in the risk of infection, by three orders of magnitude, for cattle born after July 31, 1996 compared with that for cattle born earlier, and a statistically significant exponential reduction in the estimated prevalence between successive annual birth cohorts after this date. There was no evidence that a significant number of these cases occurred as a result of a maternally associated risk factor, infection from environmental contamination (other than from feedstuffs) or as a result of a genetically based aetiology. The epidemiological features were consistent with an exogenous feedborne source as a result of a reliance on imported feedstuffs in Great Britain and the later introduction of a ban on the use of MMBM in other EU member states on January 1, 2001.

Smith R.P.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency VLA | Chalmers R.M.,UK Cryptosporidium Reference Unit | Mueller-Doblies D.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency VLA | Clifton-Hadley F.A.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency VLA | And 5 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2010

The study investigates farms suspected of being sources of zoonotic human cryptosporidiosis. A variety of implicated farm animal species were sampled and tested to detect Cryptosporidium oocysts and investigate genetic linkage with human patients. Risk factor information was collected from each farm and analysed by multivariable logistic regression to detect significant associations between factors and Cryptosporidium in animals. The results showed that average sample prevalence of Cryptosporidium infection was highest in cattle, sheep and pigs (∼40-50%), in the mid-range in goats and horses (20-25%) and lowest in rabbits/guinea pigs, chickens and other birds (∼4-7%). A single sample from a farm dog was also positive. Cryptosporidium parvum, which has zoonotic potential, was the commonest species and was most likely to be present in cattle and, to a lesser extent, in sheep. In particular, young calves and lambs shed C. parvum and this finding was corroborated in a statistical model which demonstrated that samples from groups of preweaned animals were 11 times, and immature animal groups six times, more likely to be positive than groups of adult animals, and that samples from a farm with a cattle enterprise were twice as likely to be positive than farms without a cattle enterprise. On seven out of eight farms, at least one C. parvum isolate from an animal sample was indistinguishable at the gp60 locus from those found in the human patients, indicating that farm animals are a likely source of infection for humans. Crown Copyright © 2010.

Roberts H.,Food and Farming Group | Lopez M.,Food and Farming Group | Hancock R.,Food and Farming Group
Veterinary Record | Year: 2010

• African swine fever in the Caucasus region • Lower-risk zone for bluetongue serotype 8 implemented in Great Britain • Outbreaks of equine infectious anaemia in Belgium; new legislation in Romania • Widespread foot-and-mouth disease epizootic in east Asia, and raised awareness in the UK • Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in wild birds in Israel, Russia, Mongolia and China These are among matters discussed in the international disease monitoring report for April to June, prepared by Defra's Food and Farming Group, Global Animal Health.

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