The intention of North-Western Ethiopian dairy farmers to control mastitis

Sefinew Alemu Mekonnen*, Gerrit Koop, Theo J.G.M. Lam, Henk Hogeveen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the intentions of dairy farmers towards mastitis control is important to design effective udder health control programs. We used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to explore the intentions of North-Western Ethiopian dairy farmers towards implementing non-specified mastitis control measures (nsMCMs) and towards implementing 4 specific MCMs. Face to face interviews were held with 134 dairy farmers to study associations between their intentions and any of three factors (attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control) that, according to the TPB, determine intentions. The majority of the farmers (93%) had a positive intention to implement nsMCMs, whereas a smaller majority of farmers had the intention to implement the specific MCMs to improve udder cleaning (87%), to improve stall hygiene (78%), to improve feeding of cows (76%), and to perform foremilk stripping (74%). Farmers had a more positive attitude, but lower subjective norm and lower perceived behavioural control towards implementing nsMCMs compared with implementing most specific MCMs, although the subjective norms for stall hygiene and perceived behavioural control for improving feeding of cows were also low. Attitude was positively associated with intentions to implement nsMCMs, to improve cleaning of the udders, to improve stall hygiene and to implement foremilk stripping. Both the intention to improve udder cleaning and to implement foremilk stripping, were positively associated to subjective norms towards these MCMs. Our data can help tailor intervention programs aiming to increase the intention of Ethiopian dairy farmers to implement MCMs and thus to improve udder health in this country. We show that such programs should primarily focus on changing attitude and secondarily on improving the farmers’ subjective norms.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0182727
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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