Information on the Questionnaire Survey
The invitation to participate in this survey of UK large animal veterinarians, that we are carrying out with the collaboration of the BVA, is currently being emailed to all farmed animal veterinarians who are currently members of the BVA. It is an on-line survey, with respondents answering through a web-link to a dedicated site.
The survey has four aims:
• To generate data on the current use of diagnostics in farm animal veterinary medicine
• To investigate the relationship between diagnostic practice and the use of antimicrobials in livestock treatment;
• To assess the current use and future potential of pen-side, on-farm, point-of-care and rapid diagnostics in farm animal veterinary medicine and;
• To consider the potential for future improvements and developments in rapid diagnostic tools to achieve better targeting and more appropriate use of antimicrobials in the treatment of farm animals.
The questionnaire takes around 15 minutes to complete and we are hoping that a large number of large animal veterinarians will be able to respond. The survey is entirely anonymous, and all respondents are assured that the information they supply will be only used for research purposes by the research team.
We are hoping to get responses from veterinarians who are regularly dealing with farmed animals as their principal veterinarian activity, whether they are private veterinarians, self-employed, independent or working in a corporate practice, veterinarians associated with food and feed companies or other bodies, government or academic veterinarians. We are seeking responses from veterinarians working with all the main farmed species: including dairy cattle, beef cattle, poultry (layers), poultry (boilers) and pigs.
We are very much hoping for a strong response rate from BVA members about this key issue As the latest VAARS Report shows, the veterinary and farming professions in the UK have already made significant progress in their response to achieving more sustainable use of antimicrobial medicines in livestock systems.
The questionnaire survey forms part of a major research project entitled 'Diagnostic Innovation and Livestock: Towards more effective and sustainable applications of antibiotics in livestock farming’ (DIAL), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council working in partnership with the Department of Health, DEFRA and others. The research involves a four-year interdisciplinary collaboration between veterinary scientists, social scientists, natural scientists and veterinarians to map out the different conditions (behavioural, regulatory, economic and physical) that impact upon diagnostic practice and can foster innovation in the development and use of diagnostic tools. To achieve this, we are examining current diagnostic practices and, in particular, how these inform decisions leading to the use of antimicrobials in animal treatment. At the same time, we are reviewing the current use of rapid or point-of-care diagnostic tools in livestock veterinary medicine with a view to identifying the potential for new rapid devices to contribute to more targeted antimicrobial use. More details on the DIAL project are available at the home page.
The survey will be open for three weeks whereupon we shall begin to analyse the results. Because all the data recorded is entirely anonymous and no individual or organisation will be identified or identifiable from the results, we are looking to review the most comment diagnostic tools employed and their perceived limitations. We also want to find out how veterinarians in practice use rapid diagnostic tools, if they do, and what potential they believe such tools might have in contributing to more targeted medicine use.
Ethics and Confidentiality
Participation in this survey is entirely voluntary. Respondents can refuse to answer individual questions and can halt their participation in the survey at any time without reason or prejudice. The information provided on this survey will remain confidential within the named research team. No data from the research will be shared with Third Parties or commercial interests. No individual respondent nor veterinary practice nor company will be identifiable from the returned survey unless they specifically wish to identify themselves in contacting the research team (which can be done via the contact details at the end of the survey and above).
All survey returns will be held securely within the research team offices until the data is transferred into a suitable form for analysis, at which point, the original survey returns will be destroyed.
By answering the questionnaire, respondents are confirming their willingness to participate in the survey and for anonymised and aggregated data to be used for research purposes.
The mechanisms and procedures for the survey, the collection, analysis and storage of the data generated and the use made of the survey results are in compliance with the research ethical requirements of the participating institutions and the General Data Protection Regulation of 2018.