Perceived risk and strategy efficacy as motivators of risk management strategy adoption to prevent animal diseases in pig farming

N.I. Valeeva, M.A.P.M. van Asseldonk, G.B.C. Backus

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    63 Citations (Scopus)


    For Dutch fattening pig farms, this study explored (1) farmers’ perceptions towards animal disease risks and animal health risk management; (2) factors underlying farmers’ adoption of the two risk management strategies, namely, biosecurity measures and animal health programs. The risks included endemic and epidemic diseases. Data were obtained through a questionnaire (n = 164). A behavioral model was developed using the Health Belief Model and tested using structural equation modeling. Endemic and epidemic diseases were regarded as an operational and catastrophic risk, respectively. Farmers considered severity of epidemics as slightly more important, compared to endemics. For both disease categories, farmers valued biosecurity measures as a more effective strategy than animal health programs. In the behavioral model, perceived benefits in terms of strategy efficacy was the strongest direct predictor of strategy adoption. Other behavioral components had a minor indirect effect, namely, via perceived benefits, and only in case of biosecurity measures. The indirect effect path did, however, vary per disease category. For endemics, such a path captured the effect of perceived susceptibility on perceived benefits mediated by perceived severity. For epidemics, it only captured the effect of perceived severity on perceived benefits. The results also revealed the importance of innate risk characteristics of farmers in their adoption decisions. In particular, general self-protection behavior directly contributed to decisions to adopt a certain strategy. The obtained knowledge highlights possible ways of improvement of programs aimed at promoting effective risk management strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)284-295
    JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • mouth-disease
    • biosecurity
    • farmers
    • perceptions
    • dairy
    • hazard
    • herds
    • model


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