Factors influencing chicken farmers' decisions to implement prevention and control measures to reduce avian influenza virus spread under endemic conditions

Gupta, S D and Fournié, G and Hoque, M A and Henning, J (2020) Factors influencing chicken farmers' decisions to implement prevention and control measures to reduce avian influenza virus spread under endemic conditions. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. ISSN 18651674

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13757

Abstract

The ongoing circulation of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 poses a threat to both poultry and public health. Adapting the constructs of the Health Belief Model (HBM) framework, we investigated perceptions of backyard, commercial broiler and layer chicken farmers to implement HPAI prevention and control measures in Bangladesh. Two cross‐sectional studies were conducted in 2016 and 2017 on 144 backyard, 106 broiler and 113 layer chicken farms. Using Structural Equation Modelling, we modelled the direct and indirect effects on farmers' perceptions on taking HPAI prevention and control actions. Our results indicate that farmers of different chicken production systems have different decision‐making processes. While perceived barriers to the implementation of prevention and control measures (e.g. wearing protective equipment when handling chickens) prevented both broiler and backyard farmers to adopt interventions, perceived benefits of measures (e.g. maintaining high biosecurity will reduce the risk of birds becoming sick) strongly influenced commercial farmers' decisions, but not backyard farmers' decisions. Information provided on HPAI through media, meetings or via information campaigns played an important role in farmers' decision‐making in all production systems. Outcomes of this research can be used to tailor advice on HPAI control and prevention to different poultry farming groups by accounting for specific factors influencing their decision‐making, instead of using one‐size‐fit‐all communication approach.

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