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Abstract

This study examined socio-economic and behavioural factors affecting small-scale poultry producers‘ knowledge about HPAI symptoms (knowledge KAP), attitudes about safe practices handling poultry and products (attitudes KAP), perception on disease risk transmission (perception KAP), and how these knowledge, attitude, perceptions, and practices (KAPs) affect actual biosecurity practices. Empirical analysis is based on a survey data collected in 2009 in Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta from 700 households. The important factors that contribute to higher level of knowledge about HPAI symptoms are higher education level of household head (particularly for those producers with more than 13 years of education), if had poultry disease in the past 5 years as they learn through experience, and households from villages where outbreaks occurred. Moreover, those producers with higher knowledge about HPAI symptoms are more likely to believe in good practices about handling poultry and poultry products and are found to have higher concerns about disease spread risks. It is possible that poultry is important for these producers so they tend to have higher incentives to form correct attitudes and to be aware about good practices. In terms of the role of knowledge, attitudes, and perception about disease and disease risks in actual decisions regarding biosecurity practices, we find that KAP indices are not significantly associated with actual biosecurity decisions of the Yogyakarta poultry producers. This implies that there is some disconnect between the formation of knowledge, attitudes, and perception about disease and disease risks and the biosecurity practices that the producers actually adopt. We also find that adoption of biosecurity actions depends on flock size, so smaller and poorer producers adopt fewer biosecurity actions, thus they are considered to be riskier in terms of transmission risks. In addition, the biosecurity levels and probability are lower in villages that have had suspected or confirmed cases of HPAI. It is possible that producers lower their perceptions about the effectiveness of biosecurity measures when faced with actual HPAI outbreak in the village. It is therefore important to understand this disconnect in designing education awareness programs that would effectively explain the symptoms of HPAI and the health consequences it poses to both animals and humans, and how the disease can be prevented and controlled from spreading.

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