Horse owners'/managers' perceptions about effectiveness of biosecurity measures based on their experiences during the 2007 equine influenza outbreak in Australia

K. Schemann*, S. M. Firestone, M. R. Taylor, J. A L M L Toribio, M. P. Ward, N. K. Dhand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Following the first ever equine influenza outbreak in Australia in 2007, a study was conducted involving 200 horse owners and managers to determine their perceptions about effectiveness of biosecurity measures and the factors associated with these perceptions. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with horse owners/managers to obtain information about their perceptions of the effectiveness of biosecurity practices, their sources of information about infection control during the outbreak and their horse industry involvement. Two outcome variables were created from horse owners' responses to a 17-item question on the perceived effectiveness of various recommended equine influenza biosecurity measures: (a) a binary outcome variable (Low/High biosecurity effectiveness) and (b) a continuous outcome variable (the proportion of the 17 measures considered 'very effective'). These outcomes were used in binomial logistic and linear regression analyses, respectively, to determine factors associated with perceptions of biosecurity effectiveness. Variables with a p-value <0.05 in multivariable models were retained in the final models.The majority (83%) of the 200 horse owners and managers interviewed believed that more than half of the recommended equine influenza biosecurity measures were very effective for protecting their horses from equine influenza infection in the event of a future outbreak. Interviewees that were more likely to judge on-farm biosecurity measures as effective were those who received infection control information from a veterinarian during the outbreak, did not experience equine influenza infection in their horses, and those on small acreage premises (homes with horses on site). Greater levels of preparedness for a future equine influenza outbreak and greater interest in information about infection control were associated with a better perception about effectiveness of biosecurity measures.This study identified factors associated with horse owners' and managers' perception of effectiveness of biosecurity measures. These findings should be considered in the design of infection control programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume106
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Behaviour change
  • Biosecurity practices
  • Equine
  • Equine influenza
  • Owner perceptions
  • Regression analysis

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