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Front Vet Sci ; 10: 1070482, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2275540


Introduction: Traditionally, it is believed that people's behaviours align with their attitudes; however, during COVID-19 pandemic, an attitude-behaviour gap in relation to preventive measures has been observed in recent studies. As such, the mixed-methods research was used to examine the relationships between farmers' biosecurity attitudes and behaviours in Taiwan's chicken industry based on the cognitive consistency theory. Methods: Content analysis of face-to-face interviews with 15 commercial chicken farmers identified their biosecurity responses to infectious disease threats. Results: The results indicated the mismatch of farmers' attitudes and behaviours towards specific biosecurity measures, in that they act differently than they think. The findings of the qualitative research allowed the research team to conduct the subsequent quantitative, confirmatory assessment to investigate the mismatch of farmers' attitudes and behaviours in 303 commercial broiler farmers. Survey data were analyzed to discover the relationships between farmers' attitudes and behaviours in relation to 29 biosecurity measures. The results show a mixed picture. The percentage of the farmers who had the attitude-behaviour gap towards 29 biosecurity measures ranged from 13.9 to 58.7%. Additionally, at the 5% significant level, there is an association between farmers' attitudes and behaviours for 12 biosecurity measures. In contrast, a significant association does not exist for the other 17 biosecurity measures. Specifically, out of the 17 biosecurity measures, the disconnection of farmers' attitudes and behaviours was observed in three specific biosecurity measures such as using a carcass storage area. Discussion: Based on a fairly large sample of farmers in Taiwan, this study confirms the existence of an attitude-behaviour gap in context and applies social theories to provide an in-depth understanding of how infectious diseases are managed in the animal health context. As the results demonstrate the necessity of tailoring biosecurity strategies to address the gap, it is time to reconsider the current approach by understanding farmers' real attitudes and behaviours in relation to biosecurity for the success of animal disease prevention and control at the farm level.

Chaos ; 31(6): 061102, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272874


African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs. ASF has led to major economic losses and adverse impacts on livelihoods of stakeholders involved in the pork food system in many European and Asian countries. While the epidemiology of ASF virus (ASFV) is fairly well understood, there is neither any effective treatment nor vaccine. In this paper, we propose a novel method to model the spread of ASFV in China by integrating the data of pork import/export, transportation networks, and pork distribution centers. We first empirically analyze the overall spatiotemporal patterns of ASFV spread and conduct extensive experiments to evaluate the efficacy of a number of geographic distance measures. These empirical analyses of ASFV spread within China indicate that the first occurrence of ASFV has not been purely dependent on the geographical distance from existing infected regions. Instead, the pork supply-demand patterns have played an important role. Predictions based on a new distance measure achieve better performance in predicting ASFV spread among Chinese provinces and thus have the potential to enable the design of more effective control interventions.

African Swine Fever Virus , African Swine Fever , African Swine Fever/epidemiology , Animals , Asia , China/epidemiology , Sus scrofa , Swine
One Health ; 13: 100279, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272650


Decades of warnings that the trade and consumption of wildlife could result in serious zoonotic pandemics have gone largely unheeded. Now the world is ravaged by COVID-19, with tremendous loss of life, economic and societal disruption, and dire predictions of more destructive and frequent pandemics. There are now calls to tightly regulate and even enact complete wildlife trade bans, while others call for more nuanced approaches since many rural communities rely on wildlife for sustenance. Given pressures from political and societal drivers and resource limitations to enforcing bans, increased regulation is a more likely outcome rather than broad bans. But imposition of tight regulations will require monitoring and assessing trade situations for zoonotic risks. We present a tool for relevant stakeholders, including government authorities in the public health and wildlife sectors, to assess wildlife trade situations for risks of potentially serious zoonoses in order to inform policies to tightly regulate and control the trade, much of which is illegal in most countries. The tool is based on available knowledge of different wildlife taxa traded in the Asia-Pacific Region and known to carry highly virulent and transmissible viruses combined with relative risks associated with different broad categories of market types and trade chains.