Is Hiding Foot and Mouth Disease Sensitive Behavior for Farmers? A Survey Study in Sri Lanka



Gunarathne, Anoma;Kubota, Satoko;Kumarawadu, Pradeep;Karunagoda, Kamal;Kono, Hiroichi

  • 투고 : 2015.03.19
  • 심사 : 2015.06.05
  • 발행 : 2016.02.01


Foot and mouth disease (FMD) has a long history in Sri Lanka and was found to be endemic in various parts of the country and constitutes a constant threat to farmers. In Sri Lanka, currently there is no regular, nationwide vaccination programme devised to control FMD. Therefore, improving farmers' knowledge regarding distinguishing FMD from other diseases and ensuring prompt reporting of any suspicion of FMD as well as restricting movement of animals are critical activities for an effective FMD response effort. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between farmers' knowledge levels and their behaviors to establish a strategy to control FMD. In our study, item count technique was applied to estimate the number of farmers that under-report and sell FMD-infected animals, although to do so is prohibited by law. The following findings were observed: about 63% of farmers have very poor knowledge of routes of FMD transmission; 'under-reporting' was found to be a sensitive behavior and nearly 23% of the farmers were reluctant to report FMD-infected animals; and 'selling FMD-infected animals' is a sensitive behavior among high-level knowledge group while it is a non-sensitive behavior among the low-level knowledge group. If farmers would understand the importance of prompt reporting, they may report any suspected cases of FMD to veterinary officials. However, even if farmers report honestly, they do not want to cull FMD-infected animals. Thus, education programs should be conducted not only on FMD introduction and transmission, but also its impact. Furthermore, consumers may criticize the farmers for culling their infected animals. Hence, not only farmers, but also consumers need to be educated on the economic impact of FMD and the importance of controlling an outbreak. If farmers have a high knowledge of FMD transmission, they consider selling FMD-infected animals as a sensitive behavior. Therefore, severe punishment should be levied for selling FMD-infected animals.


Foot and Mouth Disease Control;Item Count Technique;Knowledge;Behavior;Dairy


  1. Cohen, B. H. 2001. Explaining Psychological Statistics. 2nd Ed. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, USA. pp. 611-612.
  2. Coutts, E. and B. Jann. 2011. Sensitive questions in online surveys: Experimental results for the randomized response technique (RRT) and the unmatched count technique (UCT). Sociol. Methods Res. 40:169-193.
  3. Department of Animal Production and Health. 2011. Annual Report 2011. Department of Animal Production and Health, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  4. Department of Animal Production and Health. 2014. Annual Report 2014. Department of Animal Production and Health, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  5. Droitcour, J., R. A. Caspar, M. L. Hubbard, T. L. Parsley, W. Visscher, and T. M. Ezzati. 1991. The item count technique as a method of indirect questioning: A review of its development and a case study application. In: Measurement Errors in Surveys (Eds. P. P. Biemer, R. M. Groves, L. E. Lyberg, N. A. Mathiowetz, and S. Sudman). Kpjm John Wiley & Sons Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. pp. 185-210.
  6. Glynn, A. N. 2013. What can we learn with statistical truth serum? Design and analysis of the list experiment. Public Opin. Q. 77(S1):159-172.
  7. Goswami, A. and R. L. Sagar. 1996. Development of cognitive learning scale to test the knowledge of livestock owners about vaccination against the contagious diseases. J. Vet. Anim. Sci. 27:32-37.
  8. LaBrie, J. W. and M. Earleywine. 2000. Sexual risk behaviors and alcohol: Higher base rates revealed using the unmatched‐count technique. J. Sex Res. 37:321-326.
  9. Miller, J. D. 1984. A New Survey Technique for Studying Deviant Behavior. Ph.D. Thesis, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.
  10. R Core Team. 2014. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
  11. Rayburn, N. R., M. Earleywine, and G. C. Davison. 2003. An investigation of base rates of anti-gay hate crimes using the unmatched-count technique. J. Aggress. Maltreat. Trauma 6:137-152.
  12. Redlawsk, D. P., C. J. Tolbert, and W. Franko. 2010. Voters, emotions, and race in 2008: Obama as the first black president. Polit. Res. Q. 63:875-889.
  13. Storer, B. E. and C. Kim. 1990. Exact properties of some exact test statistics for comparing two binomial proportions. J. Am. Stat. Assoc. 85:146-155.
  14. Tsuchiya, T., Y. Hirai, and S. Ono. 2007. A study of the properties of the item count technique. Public. Opin. Q. 71:253-272.
  15. Walsh, J. A. and J. Braithwaite. 2008. Self-reported alcohol consumption and sexual behavior in males and females: Using the unmatched-count technique to examine reporting practices of socially sensitive subjects in a sample of university students. J. Alcohol Drug. Educ. 52:49-72.
  16. Wilcox, R. R. 2005. Introduction to Robust Estimation and Hypothesis Testing. 2nd Ed. Elsevier Academic Press, Burlington, MA, USA.

피인용 문헌

  1. 1. Multiple sensitive estimation and optimal sample size allocation in the item sum technique pp.03233847, 2017, doi:10.5713/ajas.15.0241


연구 과제 주관 기관 : Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine