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Assessment of a joint farmer-veterinarian discussion about biosecurity using novel social interaction analyses

Chomyn, Olivia; Wapenaar, Wendela; Richens, Imogen F.; Reyneke, Rosemary A.; Shortall, Orla; Kaler, Jasmeet; Brennan, Marnie L.

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Olivia Chomyn

Wendela Wapenaar

Imogen F. Richens

Rosemary A. Reyneke

Orla Shortall

Professor of Epidemiology & Precision Livestock Informatics


Veterinarians are trusted by farmers and play an important role in assisting them to implement biosecurity. More research is needed that particularly focuses on the impact of joint farmer-veterinarian discussions to further understand the role of communication in altering biosecurity behaviours. The aim of this study was to analyse joint dairy cattle farmer-veterinarian discussions about the adoption of on-farm biosecurity using novel social interaction methodologies. Farmer and veterinarian stakeholders were invited to take part in a face-to-face meeting. Introductory presentations were given, followed by separate facilitated veterinarian and farmer discussions. All stakeholders were brought together for a final facilitated group discussion which was audio recorded. Corresponding transcripts from the recordings were analysed via thematic and conversation analyses. Conversation analysis assessments such as turn taking, repair, sequence organisation, overlap and asymmetry were employed to investigate the nature of the conversation. Thematic analysis identified the negative repercussions of conflicting information or ineffective communication surrounding biosecurity implementation. The type of, and importance of, the relationship farmers had with veterinarians and other stakeholders was highlighted. The need to provide personalised biosecurity protocols on farms was identified. Four key factors were identified via conversation analyses. These included: 1) how the conversation facilitated agreement, 2) how the conversation allowed the farmer and veterinarian participants to learn from one another in real time, 3) how the discussion enabled participants to expand upon points they were making, and 4) how participants were able to obtain a greater understanding of the other participants’ opinions, even without total resolution. Debate around the effective implementation of biosecurity measures on farms, explored using novel techniques, demonstrated the potential for utilising a discussive approach between veterinarians and farmers to lead to solutions not previously considered. Because of the nature of the discussion, conversation analysis resulted in an informative approach to encapsulating the nuanced dialogue between stakeholders, highlighting the potential of this analysis framework.


Chomyn, O., Wapenaar, W., Richens, I. F., Reyneke, R. A., Shortall, O., Kaler, J., & Brennan, M. L. (2023). Assessment of a joint farmer-veterinarian discussion about biosecurity using novel social interaction analyses. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 212, Article 105831.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 23, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 26, 2022
Publication Date 2023-03
Deposit Date Jan 26, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 26, 2023
Journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Print ISSN 0167-5877
Publisher Elsevier BV
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 212
Article Number 105831
Keywords Animal Science and Zoology; Food Animals
Public URL
Publisher URL


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