Understanding the uptake of diagnostics for sustainable gastrointestinal nematode control by European dairy cattle farmers: a multi-country cross-sectional study uri icon


  • This article is based upon work from COST Action COMBAR CA16230, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). We wish to thank: Dr. Christa Egger-Danner from the ZuchtData EDV-Dienstleistungen GmbH Austria for her help in distributing the questionnaire for Austria; Kjetil Meier Haugen in Animalia – Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Centre for programming and Kenneth Lien Steen in TINE SA for distributing the survey in Norway; The Scottish Government’s Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services (RESAS) department for funding David Bartley and enabling his ongoing involvement in COMBAR; the Portuguese Association of Buiatrics (Associação Portuguesa de Buiatria) and Agropress Comunicação Especializada for their invaluable help in disseminating the questionnaire survey; the Schleswig-Holstein and Bavarian milk control associations (Landeskontrollverband Schleswig-Holstein and Bayerischer Milchpruefring), the organic food association Bioland and the gazettes top agrar and Milchrind for advertising the survey to German farmers; and the Italian Association of Farmers (Associazione Italiana Allevatori – AIA) for their help in advertising the questionnaire survey. The participation of Teresa L. Mateus was supported by the projects UIDB/CVT/00772/2020 and LA/P/0059/2020 funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).
  • To mitigate emerging anthelmintic resistance (AR) in cattle, sustainable gastrointestinal nematode control strategies should be adopted. A multi-centre study was set up to understand the factors affecting European dairy cattle farmers’ adoption of diagnostics and to gauge for differences between regions. The data were collected through a multilingual survey by participating countries of the European Co-operation in Science and Technology (COST) action COMbatting Anthelmintic Resistance in ruminants (COMBAR). Four countries provided sufficient data to be included in the data analysis: Norway, Italy, Germany and Austria. Three models were estimated and validated through structural equation modelling. Norway, along with Germany and Austria (pooled dataset) showed similar trends that align with previous studies. AR risk perception had no influence on the adoption intention of diagnostics, a positive influence was found for attitude towards diagnostics and subjective norms (i.e., perceived opinion of others), and a negative influence of attitudes towards anthelminthics. Additionally, routine (i.e., perception of the current treatment) had an indirect effect on adoption intention through attitudes. Italy’s data deviated from these findings, presenting a positive effect of the perceived severity of AR, and perceived behavioural control (i.e., perceived ability to perform a specific behaviour) on adoption intention of diagnostics. Finally, Norway’s data set allowed for inclusion of a measurement of current behaviour in the model, identifying a direct positive effect of the perceived actual behaviour of other farmers on their own behaviour.

publication date

  • January 1, 2023