What is your perception of biosecurity and disease spread in animals? Preliminary results from a survey to the general public

Lidiia Moskalenko, Maria Rodrigues da Costa, Giovanna Ciaravino

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


WG2 launched a survey for consumers (general public) to assess their perception of biosecurity and the role they could play in disease spread. The survey was initially launched in English in late August 2022, subsequently launched in 20 additional languages, and closed in mid-January 2023. Only survey translations with more than 30 responses were analysed (n= 15). In total, 969 consumers living in 37 countries worldwide answered the survey, all of them “did not work or had worked in or with the livestock sector” (inclusion criteria). Respondents were mostly female (64.5%), on average 42±13.8 years old, and 86.3% “never had or were having any training or education in livestock animal health or animal production”. About 60.7% of consumers lived in urban areas, 16.3% in suburban areas, and 22.0% in rural areas. Of all respondents, 60.3% did not live close by or regularly visited areas which have livestock. Around half of respondents (47.2%) heard about “biosecurity” before, but were not sure what it means, while 28.3% had never heard it before. When asked how much they agreed (in a scale of 0-10 – completely disagree to completely agree) with the statements: “Infectious disease has negative consequences for livestock”, “disease can spread from animals to humans” and “disease can spread from humans to animals”, respondents scored on average 8.2±2.76, 8.1±2.36, and 6.5±3.03. Finally, 71.7% of respondents “do not wash their hands or do so after contacting with animals (pets or livestock) on a farm or other locations” (Figure1). Based on these data, the general public is unsure about the meaning of biosecurity and unaware of the possibility of them spreading disease to animals. However, consumers were mindful of the potential to spread disease from animals to humans. This work will be used to prepare semi-structured interviews and forthcoming participatory actions with consumers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages43
Publication statusPrint publication - 7 Feb 2023


  • biosecurity
  • livestock
  • pigs
  • poultry
  • cattle
  • general public
  • survey


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