Special Issue "The Human Dimension in Animal Health Programs: Understanding Behavior and Practices"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Farm Animal Production".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 February 2024 | Viewed by 1070

Special Issue Editor

Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1644, USA
Interests: surveillance methods; surveillance evaluation; infectious animal diseases; design and assessment of national animal health programs
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human behavior directly influences animal health, making humans responsible for providing care, implementing preventive measures, and managing livestock systems. Recognizing the importance of human behavior in animal health programs can lead to targeted education, training, and increased awareness of proper animal husbandry practices. This includes promoting biosecurity measures, responsible antimicrobial use, and appropriate vaccination protocols. The human dimension extends beyond animal care and management, encompassing stakeholders such as farmers, veterinarians, policymakers, and consumers. Effective communication and collaboration among these stakeholders are vital for the success of animal health programs. By considering the perspectives, needs, and concerns of all involved parties, programs can be tailored to address specific challenges and ensure their long-term sustainability. Furthermore, the human dimension is closely tied to public health, as many animal diseases can have significant implications for human health, including zoonotic diseases. A comprehensive animal health program should aim to protect both animal and human populations, recognizing the interconnectedness of their well-being. Therefore, understanding and addressing human behavior, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and considering public health implications are essential for effective animal health promotion and overall societal well-being.

This Special Issue aims to explore studies and research findings that assess the human dimension, including behavior and practices associated with animal health programs. This issue seeks to enhance the effectiveness of animal health programs and improve the health of communities at large. Interdisciplinary studies, including social science research, are anticipated to contribute valuable insights to this issue. We encourage the submission of research articles, including observational studies, that address a broad range of behaviors, knowledge, and opinions of farmers, veterinary practitioners, and decision-makers.

Prof. Dr. Mo Salman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • animal health programs
  • human behavior
  • human practices
  • farmers’ attitude
  • knowledge, attitudes, and practices of farmers and veterinarians
  • social sciences for animal health programs

Published Papers (1 paper)

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11 pages, 1519 KiB  
Developing the Social Ecology of Occupational Zoonoses Instrument: A Comprehensive Tool for Measuring Social and Behavioral Factors in Agricultural Settings
Agriculture 2023, 13(9), 1655; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13091655 - 22 Aug 2023
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This article presents the development and validation of a new instrument measuring social, cultural, and behavioral factors influencing exposure to occupational zoonoses in agricultural settings. The Social Ecological Model (SEM) and the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing were used as guiding frameworks [...] Read more.
This article presents the development and validation of a new instrument measuring social, cultural, and behavioral factors influencing exposure to occupational zoonoses in agricultural settings. The Social Ecological Model (SEM) and the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing were used as guiding frameworks to ensure the instrument’s validity. The instrument’s content was compiled by combining the results of a scoping literature review and an expert qualitative study. The instrument items were drafted, organized, and underwent a meticulous process of revision and adjustment. It was translated into Spanish and tested in one-to-one cognitive interviews with five volunteer agricultural workers. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted for construct discrimination, and bivariate regression analyses were conducted to explore the association with exposure indicators. Evidence of validity was obtained from four out of five sources of validity evidence according to the AERA/APA’s Standards of Educational and Psychological Testing. The Social Ecology of Occupational Zoonoses (SEOZ) was successfully used to determine social and behavioral factors associated with a higher risk of exposure to occupational zoonoses. Further use of the SEOZ can provide valuable insights into developing effective interventions to improve the health and well-being of agricultural workers. Full article
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