EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Routine inertia and reactionary response in animal health best practice

Emma Jane Dillon (), Thia Hennessy (), Peter Howley (), John Cullinan (), Kevin Heanue () and Anthony Cawley ()
Additional contact information
Emma Jane Dillon: Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc
Thia Hennessy: University College Cork
Peter Howley: University of York
John Cullinan: National University of Ireland
Kevin Heanue: Business Planning and Performance Evaluation Department, Teagasc
Anthony Cawley: Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc

Agriculture and Human Values, 2018, vol. 35, issue 1, 207-221

Abstract: Abstract Animal health is a key factor affecting the economic efficiency of the dairy industry. Improvements in animal health are also of relevance to society more broadly, given important implications for animal welfare, food safety and quality. Although the economic gains of best practice with regard to animal health have been well documented, many farmers are not adopting optimal herd management techniques. This paper utilises nationally representative farm-level data from Ireland for 2013 to identify drivers and barriers to the adoption of best practice with regard to on-farm mastitis management. Exploratory factor analysis is used to derive measures of farmers’ attitudes towards animal health and mastitis and econometric techniques are employed to empirically assess the influence of these on the uptake of beneficial herd health management practices. A number of focus groups were also undertaken to complement the analysis. This paper concludes that farmers’ attitudes towards animal health are not a key driver in the uptake of best practice, although perceived disease risk is of relevance. A number of interesting issues arise in identifying barriers to the uptake of best practice, these include the possibility of routine inertia, i.e., farmers do not deviate from the routine developed around mastitis prevention until there is an indication of infection, as well as constraints around the availability of labour and time. Farmer behaviour with respect to mastitis management can thus be considered as reactionary as opposed to precautionary. This research highlights the valuable role of the extension agent but concludes that engagement around knowledge transfer and technology adoption is particularly complex.

Keywords: Animal health; Technology adoption; Attitudes; Behaviour; Mixed methods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10460-017-9817-5 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9817-5

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460

Access Statistics for this article

Agriculture and Human Values is currently edited by Harvey S. James Jr.

More articles in Agriculture and Human Values from Springer, The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS)
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

 
Page updated 2019-04-09
Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9817-5