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|Title:||Cattle manure trade network analysis and the relevant spatial pathways in an endemic area of foot and mouth disease in Northern Thailand|
|Abstract:||© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Animal movement is one of the most important risk factors for outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in cattle. Likewise, FMD can spread to cattle farms via vehicles contaminated with the FMD virus. In Northern Thailand, the movement of manure transport vehicles and the circulation of manure bags among cattle farms are considered as potential risk factors for FMD outbreaks among cattle farms. This study aimed to determine the characteristics and movement patterns of manure tradesman using social network analysis. A structured questionnaire was used to identify sequences of farms routinely visited by each tradesman. A total of 611 participants were interviewed, including 154 beef farmers, 407 dairy farmers, 36 tradesmen, and 14 final purchasers. A static weighted directed one-mode network was constructed, and the network metrics were measured. For the manure tradesman-cattle farmer network, the tradesman possessed the highest value of in- and out-degree centralities (71 and 4), betweenness centralities (114.5), and k-core values (2). These results indicated that the tradesman had a high frequency of farm visits and had a remarkable influence on other persons (nodes) in the network. The movement of vehicles ranged from within local districts, among districts, or even across provinces. Unclean manure plastic bags were circulated among cattle farms. Therefore, both vehicles and the bags may act as a disease fomite. Interestingly, no recording system was implemented for the movement of manure transport vehicles. This study suggested that the relevant authority and stakeholders should be aware of the risk of FMD spreading within this manure trading network. The findings from this study can be used as supporting data that can be used for enhancing FMD control measures, especially for FMD endemic areas.|
|Appears in Collections:||CMUL: Journal Articles|
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