Seasonal calving UK dairy herds: A farmer survey of fertility and veterinary services

Giles, George, Fishbourne, Emma, Smith, Robert Frank ORCID: 0000-0003-0944-310X and Higgins, Helen Mary ORCID: 0000-0003-0706-1976
(2022) Seasonal calving UK dairy herds: A farmer survey of fertility and veterinary services. VETERINARY RECORD, 190 (3). e1269-.

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<h4>Background</h4>There is a lack of literature concerning dairy farmers' use of veterinary services and how satisfied they are with them. This study aimed to fill this gap for seasonal calving UK herds, with a focus on fertility, and included farmer perceived barriers to veterinary involvement.<h4>Methods</h4>A cross-sectional questionnaire (convenience sample), with 166 useable responses.<h4>Results</h4>Opportunities exist for further veterinary involvement in seasonal herds. Areas vets are least involved in currently are nutrition, breeding and genetics, growth rate monitoring and infrastructure changes. Current veterinary input was rated neutral or poor value by 21% of respondents. Over 90% of farmers want vets to ask questions to elicit their needs. Frequently mentioned barriers were 'lack of veterinary knowledge of our system', 'not enough cost-benefit of veterinary involvement' and 'we get our fertility information elsewhere'. Along with clinical ability and being approachable, 'understanding our system' and being 'proactive' were qualities participants most valued in a vet. After cost, 'pushing sales and interventions' were the least liked.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Findings highlight the critical importance of clearly demonstrating the full cost-benefit of veterinary services to farmers. The results contain many details concerning farmer perceptions and values that can help veterinary businesses to strengthen existing services and develop new services.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: block or seasonal calving, bovine, cost-benefit, farmers, fertility health planning, preventative, proactive, veterinary intervention
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2022 08:53
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:12
DOI: 10.1002/vetr.1269
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