Tick-borne disease project seeks farmer views

Farmers and vets are invited to give their views about tick-borne livestock diseases in a new survey for the Optick project.

The call comes as changes in climate, land use, and agriculture threaten to increase the risk of these diseases growing more prevalent in the UK.

The project is designed to find out what livestock farmers think about louping ill, tick-borne fever and bovine babesiosis (redwater).

See also: Redwater fever in cattle: What it is and how to manage it

The aim is to discover the impact these diseases have, the options for treatment, and the on-farm decision-making and diagnostic practices used.

Disease spread

“We hope the results will advance understanding of how different land managers and vets perceive the risk of tick-borne diseases and the conditions that allow disease pathogens to establish and spread, as well as measures to reduce risk,” says environmental social scientist Godfred Amankwaa at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

The results should also help the development of tools and policy to mitigate the threat of tick-borne diseases.

How to take part

Farmers and vets can both have their say in online surveys. The surveys take 10-15 minutes to complete and are open until July.

  • Optick is a collaboration between the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Animal and Plant Health Agency, University of Liverpool, UK Health Security Agency and Moredun Research Institute.