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Ecohealth. 2018 Jun;15(2):437-449. doi: 10.1007/s10393-018-1323-8. Epub 2018 Mar 13.

West African Cattle Farmers' Perception of Tick-Borne Diseases.

Author information

National Institute of Agricultural Research of Benin (INRAB)/Agricultural Research Centre of Agonkanmey (CRA-A), 2900, Cotonou, Benin.
Polytechnic School of Abomey-Calavi/Research Unit in Biotechnology in Production and Animal Health, 01 Box 2009, Cotonou, Benin.
International Center of Research-Development on Livestock in Subhmid Zone (CIRDES), 01 BP 454 01, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
Department of Livestock, Faculty of Agronomy and Environment Sciences, University Dan Dicko Dan Koulodo of Maradi, 465, Maradi, Niger.
Institut du développement Rural (IDR), Université Nazi Boni (UNB), Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA), 910, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), West and Central Africa Regional hub, 320, Bamako, Mali.
Laboratory of Biomathematics and Forest Estimations (LABEF), University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Cotonou, Benin.
Forestry Agroforestry and Biogeography Research Unit, School of Forestry and Wood Engineering, National University of Agriculture, BP 43, Ketou, Benin.
Research Fellow FNRS, Georges Lemaître Institute for Earth and Climate Research, Université catholique de Louvain, SST/SC/GEOG, Place Louis Pasteur, 3 bte L4.03.07, 1348, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.


Worldwide, cattle production is struggling to face the negative impacts caused by ticks and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is one of the most harmful ticks for livestock. Most of the people in West Africa depend on cattle farming and subsistence agriculture. The presence of ticks on cattle is a major problem faced by smallholder farmers who fight for their livelihood. National and regional tick control programs could assist these rural communities in protecting their livelihoods against ticks and tick-borne diseases, but only if they take into account the targeted herders and their perception on cattle management and tick control. This paper aims to provide a better insight in the socio-economic characteristics of Beninese cattle farmers, and their perception on tick burden, as well as to document common tick control strategies. Different tick species and their seasonality are well understood by cattle herders. For tick control, many still use manual tick removal, especially in the north of the country. The high cost of acaricides, the lack of financial means of African farmers, and of the local stockbreeders in particular, limits the use of acaricides in livestock breeding in Benin. While aiming to increase the meat or milk production of their animals, stockbreeders who can afford it sometimes turn to an abusive use of acaricides, which might in time lead to an increase in tick resistance. This study remains one of the rare studies to report extensively on the perceptions of West African cattle herders.


Cattle herders; Perception; Survey; Tick control; Ticks

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