Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine

Dairy cow vaccination

The aim of this study was to investigate the motivators and barriers to implementing vaccination strategies on UK dairy farms. Semi-structured interviews with a range of UK dairy farmers and farm animal veterinary surgeons were undertaken to obtain qualitative data regarding their attitudes towards dairy cattle vaccination.

Dairy cows

Key findings:

The implementation of vaccination on British dairy farms is generally reactive i.e. in response to a ‘problem’.  Farmers and vets are motivated to vaccinate dairy cattle given evidence of such a ‘problem’. Challenges to dairy cattle vaccination may arise from differences in how risk is perceived between veterinary surgeons and farmers. Effective communication and a trusting relationship between farmers and veterinary surgeons are imperative to the optimisation of vaccination strategies on British dairy farms. 

This project was undertaken by one of our PhD students as part of an AHDB Dairy funded research partnership.

The results of this study have been presented at a number of national and international conferences, most recently at the 2015 International Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Conference in Merida, Mexico.

More information from the project can be found on the AHDB Dairy website: (http://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/resources-library/research-development/health-welfare/report-understanding-challenges-and-perceptions-of-vaccination-strategies/#.Vp38OZqLS70).

Imogen’s thesis can be found in The University of Nottingham’s eThesis archive: (http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/3 0439)


  • Richens I.F, Hobson-West P., Brennan M.L., Lowton R., Kaler J. and Wapenaa, W., 2015. Farmers’ perception of the role of veterinary surgeons in vaccination strategies on British dairy farms Veterinary Record. 177(November 7) (http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/177/18/465.full.pdf+html?sid=7f32741d-8f9f-4be3-8863-b8d87e09ee93)
  •  Cresswell E, Richens I, Archer S, Breen J, Huxley J, Randall L, Remnant J, Wapenaar W, Biggs A, Kerby M, Statham J. Veterinary vaccination advice and perceived farmer compliance on UK dairy farms. Livestock 2013;18(5):166-74.


Imogen Richens, Wendela Wapenaar, Marnie Brennan, Pru-Hobson West 


Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 951 6576
Fax: +44 (0) 115 951 6415
Email: CEVM@nottingham.ac.uk