PR - WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO ANIMAL HEALTH PLANNING?
Animal health planning has been widely promoted to farmers in many countries as a way to improve the health and welfare of their animals and contribute to other societal goals such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Although these benefits have been demonstrated and promoted widely there are still farmers who have not engaged in the active process of health planning and those that do not think it is a worthwhile process. Through the novel approach of examining animal health planning adoption using a stage behavioural model, the individual stages of adoption (from awareness to maintenance) were analysed using literature and primary data collected in an online survey. Results of the study show that there needs to be clarity on what animal health planning is and that awareness of it in the UK may not be as high as might be expected. These prerequisites need to be tackled before further barriers including improved data on the costs and benefits of health planning and quality of the base plan can be addressed. This paper demonstrates that behavioural stage models provide a valuable framework to study the whole process of behavioural adoption and can help identify barriers at each stage of the process, allowing advisors and extension officers to design effective interventions that will encourage farmers to actively health plan.
Keywords: Animal health planning, innovation, behavioural change process, behavioural maintenance, adoption