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Farmers' attitudes towards veterinary services

Fairnie, Helen Margaret (1978) Farmers' attitudes towards veterinary services. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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An investigation of farmers' "attitudes" to veterinary services was carried out on a group of 102 farmers from beef, sheep and dairy cattle areas of Victoria and Western Australia. The study was commenced because, despite many agriculturalists advocation of increased usage of veterinary services in a preventive rather than a curative capacity. farmer's overall usage of veterinary services appeared to be decreasing. Farmers' "attitudes" were considered to comprise three components: usage, knowledge of, and feelings towards veterinary services.

Decreasing usage of private veterinary services over the period studied, 1971-1975, was confirmed; however, usage of government veterinary services increased slightly but not enough to compensate for the decreased private veterinary usage.

Farmers' knowledge of veterinary services was measured, as well as their knowledge of diseases. However, their accuracy or depth of knowledge was not ascertained.

Attitudes of farmers to veterinarians and veterinary services were measured using a Likert-type scale on 40 items. Item analysis was carried out producing an internal consistency reliability of 0.55. More homogeneity amongst test items would have improved test reliability. Farmers' attitudes to private veterinarians differed significantly to their attitudes towards government veterinarians.

Farmers found private veterinarians easier to contact when required, to have a more adequate knowledge of disease and to talk in an easier-to-understand way than government veterinarians. The latter were thought to know more about animal production, normal animal management and to talk at Field Days more frequently than private veterinarians. Differences in attitude to veterinary services were found between dairy farmers and beef-sheep farmers.

In an open-ended question nearly one third of farmers were critical of fees charged by private veterinarians, while just over one third of farmers criticised government veterinarians for their lack of availability.

Significant correlations were found between farmers' usage of private veterinary services and their "knowledge" of such services and between usage and their feelings or "attitude" score. A causal relationship between these 3 aspects of attitude was not established. No such significance was found for government veterinary services.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary Studies
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Dunlop, Robert
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