Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a common disease of cattle and wildlife, with economic repercussions and implications for animal and human health. The surveillance of bTB in wildlife is particularly important, to shed light on the epidemiological role of wild species and for the adaptation of control measures. In France, a bTB surveillance system for free-ranging wildlife, the Sylvatub system, was launched in 2011 on wild boars, red deer, roe deer and badgers. It relies on active and passive surveillance activities, constrained by practical difficulties, such as the accessibility of wild animals, and regulatory rules for the trapping of badgers, for example. We report here the first assessment of stakeholders" perceptions of the Sylvatub system and its acceptability, based on 20 individual semi-structured interviews with three types of stakeholder (collectors, coordinators, officers) in areas with different rates of bTB infection. With the caveat that these findings cannot be assumed to be representative of the national situation, we found that the Sylvatub system was considered useful by all the stakeholders interviewed. Those from the world of hunting participate in surveillance mostly to help livestock farmers, who are not systematically involved in bTB surveillance in wildlife. Many practical and regulatory constraints were raised, which could be offset by recognition of the work done by the "hunting community", to maintain the willingness of these individuals to participate. We also identified a need for improvements in communication and information. Qualitative information, such as that collected here, is essential to improve our understanding of the reasons favoring and disfavoring participation in surveillance, and should be taken into account in the evaluation process. These results are relevant to hunters and to veterinary authorities wishing to identify the determinants of participation in the Sylvatub system. They could provide support for decision-making processes to improve surveillance strategies.
Auteur : Riviere J, Le Strat Y, Hendrikx P, Dufour B
PloS one, 2018, vol. 13, n°. 3, p. e0194447