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Consumer attitudes to vaccination of food-producing animals
|Author(s) :||J.M. Scudamore|
The 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom was unprecedented, with the need to develop a vaccination policy at the height of the epidemic. The extent of consumer concerns about eating products derived from vaccinated animals was unknown as survey results were equivocal. A recent survey on avian influenza reveals that the European public are well informed about the disease and its control, but over 50% of respondents would be reluctant to consume meat from vaccinated birds. There is little specific information available on consumer views about routine vaccination for other diseases. Their concerns appear to increase in an emergency situation when there is heightened awareness through the media. With the development of newer types of vaccines consumers will need more assurance about the safety and use of these products. This article examines these issues and makes practical recommendations for ensuring public confidence when emergency vaccination for disease control is proposed.