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Prev Vet Med. 2015 Mar 1;118(4):483-7. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.12.016. Epub 2015 Jan 3.

Knowledge and behavior in an animal disease outbreak - Evidence from the item count technique in a case of African swine fever in Madagascar.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Hygiene Economics, E2206-1, Building I, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, 2-11 Inada, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
2
Laboratory of Hygiene Economics, E2206-1, Building I, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, 2-11 Inada, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan. Electronic address: kono@obihiro.ac.jp.

Abstract

Pig production in Madagascar is not sufficient for domestic consumption. Unfortunately, African swine fever (ASF), which is a severe disease, is endemic in Madagascar and constitutes a constant threat for farmers. Therefore, ASF must be eradicated in order to guarantee the development of pig production. One of the main strategies in controlling ASF is stamping out which requires the farmers' collaboration in reporting cases or suspected cases. The objective of this study was to estimate the proportion of farmers who knowingly sell ASF-infected meat without reporting. Since selling ASF-infected meat is prohibited by the government, we used the item count technique (ICT), an indirect questioning technique appropriate for measuring the proportion of people engaged in sensitive behavior, for one subsample, while another subsample was asked directly whether they sell ASF-infected meat. Based on the ICT, approximately 73.2% of farmers who have experienced ASF sell the ASF-infected meat. This estimate was not statistically different from that obtained by direct questioning. In the 28% of interviewed farmers who believe ASF can affect humans, the ICT yielded a higher estimate than did direct questioning, indicating that pig farmers who sell ASF-infected meat hide that fact because of their belief that infected meat might harm human consumers, not because of the law. The ICT was thus a suitable technique to address the problem of sensitive behavior. In the case of ASF outbreaks, the Malagasy government should enforce the law more strictly and provide compensation as incentive for reporting cases.

KEYWORDS:

African swine fever; Item count technique; Madagascar

PMID:
25591977
DOI:
10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.12.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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