Profiles of opinions among farmers and veterinarians towards the Tuberculosis Eradication Programme in cattle in Spain

Giovanna Ciaravino*, Josep Espluga, Jordi Casal, Alberto Pacios, Irene Mercader, Alberto Allepuz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The level of commitment among farmers and veterinarians may have a significant influence on the effectiveness of control efforts against tuberculosis in cattle (bTB), facilitating or hindering the achievement of its eradication. In this study, we investigated the opinions and attitudes of farmers and veterinarians towards the bTB eradication programme in Spain. Our aim was to assess the existence of groups of people that share the same arguments and outline their characteristic features. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire using a telephone survey in a random sample of 706 farmers and 180 veterinarians. The relationships between the variables and individuals were explored by using Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Afterwards, we applied Hierarchical Clustering on Principal Components in order to identify and characterise the opinion profiles. We identified three different groups of opinions characterised by the attitude towards bTB diagnostic tests, the perception on the importance and the zoonotic impact of bTB, and the perceived importance of other domestic reservoirs. There were people with positive and people with negative attitudes towards the programme, and a third group with a tendency to not respond. The presence of opposite profiles was observed among farmers. Veterinarians, on the other hand, were more homogeneous, especially the group of veterinarians working in the official veterinary services, as the vast majority of them expressed a positive attitude towards the programme. Nevertheless, there were also a few veterinarians who showed the same negative attitude as farmers. Education and communication are of paramount importance to ensure the adequate commitment of all people involved in the eradication programme, and our results highlight that, in Spain, both should be improved. However, this alone may not be enough to change people's behaviours, and more complex change interventions might be necessary for people with a negative attitude. Such strategies should target the perception on the role of wildlife reservoirs, the uncertainty of ante-mortem tests results, as well as the beliefs on the importance of bTB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104941
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Animal health
  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Disease control
  • Epidemiology
  • Sociology


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