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The role of communication in improving udder health.

Authors
  • Jansen, Jolanda
  • Lam, Theo J G M
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Veterinary clinics of North America. Food animal practice
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2012
Volume
28
Issue
2
Pages
363–379
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.cvfa.2012.03.003
PMID: 22664213
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Our findings provide insight into Dutch dairy farmers’ behavior and mindset toward mastitis management, and into the way these can be affected by communication strategies. They may differ from those of North American dairy farmers, but probably many findings are comparable. Elements of farmer mindset are important determining factors in mastitis control, including the perceived threat (ie, “Do I have a problem?”) and the perceived efficacy of mastitis management measures (ie, “Can I solve the problem easily?”). These issues need to be addressed in communication strategies. Veterinarians can be important intermediaries in communication about udder health, provided that they are aware of their role as proactive advisor and apply the accompanying communication skills. To be effective, a mastitis control program should do more than distributing technical information about best management practices to dairy farmers. Prevention of complex diseases such as mastitis requires customized communication strategies as well as an integrated approach between various stakeholders and different scientific disciplines. Because farmers are part of, and are influenced by a wide institutional context, such programs need to be supported by a combination of several policy measures to change farm management in the long run.

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