Training veterinarians and agricultural advisers on a novel tool for tail biting prevention
By A. L. vom Brocke, D. P. Madey, M. Gauly, L. Schrader and S. Dippel (Vet Rec Open 2015).
Introduction Many health and welfare problems in modern livestock production are multifactorial problems which require innovative solutions, such as novel risk assessment and management tools. However, the best way to distribute such novel – and usually complex – tools to the key applicants still has to be discussed.
Materials and methods This paper shares experiences from distributing a novel tail biting prevention tool (‘SchwIP’) to 115 farm advisers and 19 veterinarians in 23 one-day workshops. Participants gave written and oral feedback at the end of the workshops, which was later analysed together with the number of farms they had visited after the workshops. Workshop groups were categorised into groups showing (a) HIGH, (b) INTermediate or (c) LOW levels of antagonism against SchwIP or parts of it during workshop discussions.
Results Group types did not significantly differ in their evaluation of knowledge transfer. However, HIGH group members evaluated the on-farm usability of the tool significantly lower in the workshop feedback and tended to visit fewer farms.
Conclusions As antagonistic discussion can influence workshop output, future workshop leaders should strive for basic communication training as well as some group leadership experience before setting up and leading workshops.