Preference of veterinarians to select an udder health programme for milk producers

03 Nov 2019

Vissio, C., Richardet, M., Chaves, J., Larriestra, A.

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Background

This investigation was carried out to gain more insight about the preference of veterinarians on the implementation of an udder health programme (UHP) in a dairy farm.

Methods

A choice experiment was designed to elicit the preferences of the participants. The study population consisted of 36 veterinarians from Argentina specialised on milk quality. The choice experiment offered several UHPs, which were combinations of some of the interventions included in the so-called five-point plan. To reduce bias among the participants, the UHPs offered were unlabelled and considered two farm contexts: one was on a pasture system and the other was on a dry-lot with pasture access system. The basic criteria (the so-called attribute) to describe veterinarians’ preferences for each UHP proposed were efficacy on clinical mastitis (CM) and bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC) reduction, cost and technical support. The data collected were analysed using conjoint analysis.

Results

UHP cost and UHP efficacy on BMSCC and CM had a significant influence on veterinarians’ ranking decisions under both dairy production contexts. The efficacy on CM was the most important attribute to prefer a particular UHP, while technical assistance was the least important attribute considered. The attributes related to efficacy on both BMSCC and CM explained over 60 per cent of the total importance of all attributes.

Conclusion

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first research in South America focused on studying veterinarians’ preferences to suggest a UHP. The cost and efficacy attributes were the veterinarians’ top priority attributes to decide the best UHP.