Nine regional focus group meetings were held with farmers to understand their views about endoparasite management. A software package (Decision Explorer) was used to enable participants to express their views on endoparasite management, collectively reason, debate and reach agreement on a diagrammatic model. This model summarised how participants viewed the cause and effect relationships for endoparasite management. The three areas explored in the group meetings were general management, regional differences and information gaps. Focus group findings were used to guide the development of a decision tool. An emphasis was placed on a planning approach following the farmer focus group meetings. This planning would benefit from professional service providers and parasitologists but development was guided by the farmer knowledge elicited through the workshops. Making the decision tool available in both hardcopy and electronic forms should enhance accessibility. The authors suggest there is a need to seriously consider the establishment of a National Advisory Committee for endoparasites. One possible framework for such a committee already exists in the Dairy Industry (the National Mastitis Advisory Committee). This committee would contain representatives from the appropriate disciplines and be responsible for leadership on endoparasite management.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 60, Hamilton, 30-35, 2000
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