Survey Reveals Better Ways to Control PRRS in Cambodia17 January 2014
CAMBODIA - A recently published survey of pig farmers on Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) reveals that more information on its symptoms, virus transmission and control could help to avoid losses from the disease and better target the use of medications and vaccines.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) was first detected in Cambodia in 2010. The disease was responsible for high morbidity and high mortality in adult pigs and the outbreak had a costly impact on those farmers affected, according to B. Tornimbene of the Royal Veterinary College in the UK and co-authors there and the UK's Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) and the Cambodian National Institute of Veterinary Research (NaVRI) in Phnom Penh.
The aim of their study - published online in Preventative Veterinary Medicine - was to generate a better understanding of Cambodian swine producers’ behaviour, in relation to PRRS and its control, in areas that have previously been affected by the disease.
A survey of the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAPs) of pig owners with regard to PRRS was conducted in semi-commercial and backyard farms in Takeo province in southeast Cambodia.
The survey was designed to assess knowledge of PRRS disease and its transmission, farmers’ attitudes and practices related to preventive and control measures, knowledge on vaccination and perception towards local veterinary authority activities.
Descriptive statistics were used to summarise qualitative data, while multivariate regression analyses were used to assess the association between selected outcomes and a number of hypothetical predictors.
When presented with clinical signs typical of PRRS, most farmers identified an infectious disease as the most likely explanation for the listed clinical conditions.
Farmers were also confident in recognising direct contact between pigs as one of the main ways of disease transmission; however, other viral transmission patterns typical of PRRS were mostly unknown or ignored. In general, male farmers and farmers with a higher level of education were more likely to have a better knowledge of transmission routes between pigs.
In terms of attitude towards control measures, vaccination and disinfection were perceived as the most effective control practices. Farmers with a better knowledge of vaccine protocols were more likely to find vaccination effective.
Village animal health workers (VAHWs) were generally in contact more with backyard farmers, while semi-commercial farmers were more prone to treat pigs themselves, raising the issue of easy and uncontrolled access to medication and vaccination.
In general, Tornimbene and co-authors concluded, farmers had a positive attitude towards local veterinarians, and lack of contact between farmers and the veterinary authority was associated more with logistic constraints than with farmers’ mistrust towards the authority.
Tornimbene B., V. Chhim, S. Sorn, T.W. Drew and J. Guitian. 2014. Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Cambodian swine producers in relation to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). Preventive Veterinary Medicine. available online 4 January 2014.
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