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Perceptions of French private veterinary practitioners’ on their role inorganic dairy farms and opportunities to improve their advisoryservices for organic dairy farmers

Duval, Julie; Bareille, Nathalie; Fourichon, Christine; Madouasse, Aurélien and Vaarst, Mette (2016) Perceptions of French private veterinary practitioners’ on their role inorganic dairy farms and opportunities to improve their advisoryservices for organic dairy farmers. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 133, pp. 10-21.

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Veterinarians could be the expected sparring partners of organic dairy farmers in promoting animal health which is one of the main organic principles. However, in the past organic dairy farmers did not always consider veterinarians to be pertinent advisors for them. The objectives of this study are – from private veterinary practitioners’ point of views- i) to describe the roles of veterinarians today in organic dairy farmers’ animal health promotion strategies, ii) to identify factors related to organic farming which determine their role on organic dairy farms, and, iii) to identify opportunities for improvement of veterinarians’ advisory services for organic dairy herds. Fourteen veterinarians, providing herd health advisory services to dairy farmers, were interviewed using qualitative semi-structured research interviews. A modified approach to Grounded Theory was used for data collection and analysis. Most often veterinarians had only contact with the organic dairy farmers in cases of individual ill animals or acute herd health problems. Even though certain veterinarians experienced situations and approaches of animal health and welfare on organic dairy farms not meeting their standards, they were not always able to establish themselves an advisory role supporting farmers in improving this. Indeed, organic production principles, regulations and farmers’ health approaches challenged veterinarians’ values on animal health and welfare and their perceptions of ‘good veterinary practices’. Also, some veterinarians considered that there was no direct economic interest for them in the organic dairy sector and that could diminish their willingness to invest in this sector. Possible opportunities for improvement were identified; for example proposing more proactively advice via existing organisations, by making adaptations to advisory services for the organic sector and/or by dissociating veterinarians’ curative role from their advisory role in disease prevention.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Dairy cattle - Organic production - Animal health promotion - Veterinarian - Communication
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University
France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Deposited By: LEROUX, Mr Michel
ID Code:33558
Deposited On:20 Nov 2018 08:55
Last Modified:20 Nov 2018 08:55
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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