Attitudes towards biosecurity practices relevant to Johne's disease control on beef cattle farms. Academic Article uri icon


  • The success of control programs can be improved when producers' attitudes towards these programs are positive. Implementation of control programs for chronic diseases are more challenging than those for acute diseases because of the absence of the "cues-to-action" that are associated with acute diseases. Johne's disease (JD) is a chronic diarrheal disease of ruminants, and national voluntary control programs exist in several countries. We used a mailed cross-sectional survey to describe the attitudes of producers towards biosecurity practices and veterinarians' beliefs relevant to the control of JD on beef farms. Another objective was to describe and compare the attitudes of producers and veterinarians towards specific measures recommended by the Texas Voluntary Johne's Disease Program (TVJDP) for cattle. Questionnaires were mailed to 1100 producers and 840 veterinarians in the state of Texas, USA. Two hundred and eighty-five producers (26%) and 153 veterinarians (18%) returned questionnaires for analysis. Fifty-nine percent of producers and 50% of veterinarians agreed that JD is responsible for substantial losses in beef cattle production. Sixty-four percent of veterinarians had educated producers on management strategies for the control or elimination of JD. However, only 36% had participated in the training program and 29% were certified to develop risk assessments and implement testing. Only 20% of producers reported that they were familiar with the TVJDP and 16% had considered participating in this program. There is a need for greater promotion of the control program among veterinarians and producers. Reasons for the apparent difference in opinions need to be understood to increase the likelihood of control measures adoption and to subsequently reduce the impact of JD on beef cattle operations.

published proceedings

  • Prev Vet Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Benjamin, L. A., Fosgate, G. T., Ward, M. P., Roussel, A. J., Feagin, R. A., & Schwartz, A. L.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Benjamin, LA||Fosgate, GT||Ward, MP||Roussel, AJ||Feagin, RA||Schwartz, AL

publication date

  • January 2010