Asian Journal of Dairy and Food Research, volume 42 issue 4 (december 2023) : 575-579

Constraints Perceived by Private Veterinary Practitioners of Tamil Nadu in the Field and Suggestions Offered by Experts

K.P. Saravanan1,*
1Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education, Veterinary College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Orathanadu-614 625, Tamil Nadu, India.
Cite article:- Saravanan K.P. (2023). Constraints Perceived by Private Veterinary Practitioners of Tamil Nadu in the Field and Suggestions Offered by Experts . Asian Journal of Dairy and Food Research. 42(4): 575-579. doi: 10.18805/ajdfr.DR-2027.

Background: Private Veterinary Practitioners (PVPs) are essential in doorstep veterinary treatment and the backbone of livestock services. During their clinical activities they also facing hindrances in the delivery of livestock service in an effective manner. Under this background, the current study was formulated with aim to know the constraints perceived by PVPs in Tamil Nadu. 

Methods: The study was conducted from January to March, 2022 in Tamil Nadu. Through well-structured interview schedule data were collected from one hundred private practitioners. The collected data of constraints were analyzed and ranked by Weighed Mean Score (WMS) method. Animal husbandry experts’ suggestions was sought to overcome foremost constraints and interpreted by percentage analysis. 

Result: The constraint analysis of PVPs revealed that local quacks treatment foremost constraint with WMS of 86.67 followed by absence of efficient diagnostic-laboratory support (WMS 85.67), delayed report of mastitis (WMS 83.67) and self-medication by livestock owner and/or farmers (WMS 83.33) were next important constraints. Animal husbandry experts suggested the following strategies to overcome the constraints: conducting ration balancing awareness campaign to farmers (90.00%), conducting regular refresher diagnostic laboratory management training programmes for field private veterinarians (86.67) and forming farmers’ interest groups to report quacks (73.33%). 

In India, cattle and poultry farming are the key source of funds for farmers, especially in times of crisis. Current total livestock population in India is 535.78 million (Anonymous, 2019). Additional veterinarians and infrastructures are needed to take care animal healthcare to the increasing population of livestock/poultry in the country (Agrawal et al., 2013). Delays in veterinary care led to a decrease in production and massive deaths in livestock. Private veterinary practitioners (PVPs) are doing services likes door step veterinary services, reaching remote locations and providing timely treatment for emergency situations and supporting (Karthikeyan et al., 2018). During extreme situations, they also face hindrances and suffering during their private practices. To deliver effective services in the field, knowing their issues and addressing them is essential. Under this background, the study was formulated with the objective to know constraints perceived by PVPs in Tamil Nadu and suggestions offered by experts.
Study area
Tamil Nadu comprised total livestock population of 245.00 lakhs. which ranks first in poultry, fifth in sheep, seventh in goats, fourteenth in bovines (Cattle and Buffalo) population in the country (Anonymous, 2019). In addition, the state has following veterinary infrastructure facilities namely veterinary dispensaries (2,721), veterinary hospitals (147), clinician centres (16), veterinary polyclinics (14) and mobile veterinary units (56) to provide services to the livestock sector (Animal Husbandry Policy Note, 2021). However, every 5,000 adult cattle units one veterinary institution is needed.
Data collection
Expost-facto research design was employed for the study. Data were collected randomly from 100 PVPs in Tamil Nadu through pretested Google forms from January to March, 2022. More than one year experience in private practice were selected as respondent for the study.
Constraint analysis
In constraint analysis, three components were included namely client dealing, treatment and personal management. Twelve constraint statements were included in the client dealing section. On the treatment and personal management aspects, 19 constraint statements and eight more were provided respectively. Respondents were asked to express their level of constraint on a three-point continuum (SC-Serious constraint, SWC-Somewhat constraint and NC- No Constraint). Respondents expressed their constraints based on their relationships with livestock and poultry farmers, as well as their exposure to veterinary practices during treatment. Constraint level was determined by comparing their Weighted Mean Score (WMS) and ranked (Meena et al., 2018; Saravanan et. al., 2021).
Animal husbandry experts’ suggestion to overcome the constraints
A list of suggestions to overcome the constraints was identified through literature research and expert consultations. From thirty experts in the field of animal husbandry, professors, experienced field veterinarians, etc., suggestions were obtained through google form for foremost constraints.
Statistical analysis
The data were analysed by descriptive statistics i e., percentage, frequency and the results were interpreted.
The results are interpreted as constraints in two aspects: first constraints towards client dealing followed by treatment; and personal management; and last section deals with expert suggestions to overcome the constraints.
Constraints of private veterinary practitioners on client dealing
In Table 1 private veterinary practitioners constraint faced on client dealing are presented. Table 1 revealed that among the constraints, majority of the respondents perceived self-medication by livestock owners and/or farmers as a major constraint and it has been ranked first (WMS 83.33). Lack of awareness of the adverse effects of self-medication and easy access to medications without prescription from medical shops might be reasons for self-medication (Geta and Kibret, 2021; Mutua et al., 2020). Followed by respondents were felt by lack of knowledge regarding balanced feeding would occur (WMS 82.67) ranked the second position. Similar constraint was reported by Quddus, (2012) that 81% of the dairy farmers had poor knowledge on feeding of milch cow. Poor knowledge on the source of parasitic infection (WMS 81.33 and lack of knowledge on silent heat in buffalo (WMS 77.00) were ranked third and four respectively. The client upset about treatment side effects was felt as the least serious constraint.

Table 1: Constraints on client dealing.

Constraints of private veterinary practitioners on treatment
Sampled respondents of the PVPs were asked about their constraints on treatment and the results are indicated in Table 2. The results revealed that majority of the respondents faced constraint of local quacks (unqualified practioners) treatment (WMS 86.67) first foremost constraint on client dealing. Farmers’ lack of understanding of the educational qualifications of unskilled quacks could be the reason. Goyal et al. (2018); Patel and Ponnusamy (2018) reported similar issues. Following this, the constrains such as absence of efficient diagnostic-laboratory support (WMS 85.67), delayed report of mastitis by farmers (WMS 83.67) and non-separation of contagious animals by farmers (WMS 83.33) which securing second, third and fourth ranks respectively. Similar constraints were reported in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal states (Sangameswaran et al., 2021; Sen et al., 2003), while researchers in Haryana were reported that lack of infrastructure for delivering livestock services to farmers’ doorstep as major constraint (Goyal et al. 2018). Further, among constraints the low livestock population density was least felt constraint.

Table 2: Constraints on treatment.

Constraints of private veterinary practitioners on personal management
When enquired about constraints of private veterinary practitioners on personal management, majority of the respondents had faced the constraint of injury or risk of injury (WMS 76.00) followed by hours of work and too many calls on nights (WMS 73.00) and lack of professional business insurance for private veterinarian (WMS 71.00) as top most constraints (Fig 1).  Long travel per day, underdeveloped road facilities in rural areas and clinical emergencies might be reasons for above constraints. Similar kinds of constraints were reported by Turkson and Brownie (1999) in Ghana; West Bengal by Sen et al. (2003); Haryana by Jadoun et al. (2017).

Fig 1: Constraints on personal management (n=100).

Animal husbandry expert suggestions to overcome constraints of private veterinary practitioners
Table 3 reveals that an overwhelming proportion of the experts suggested conducting ration balancing awareness campaign (90.00%), followed by imparting frequent training/demonstration to women farmers on low-cost compound feed preparation through cooperative society (86.67%) and increasing the availability of concentrated feed ingredients and encouraging the use of non-traditional feed resources (80.00%) to face the constraint of lack of knowledge regarding balanced feeding. Study conducted in Karnal concluded that balanced feeding improved milk production, reproduction and income (Kamble and Sankhala, 2021). Further, to overcome the constraint of the absence of efficient diagnostic-laboratory support experts were suggested refresher diagnostic laboratory management training programme (86.67%) and promoting veterinary disease diagnostic facilities and services on payment basis (46.67%).  

Table 3: Expert suggestions to overcome the constraints.

Further, Table 3 further reveals that the majority of experts (73.33%) opined that forming farmers’ interest group or other organisations and displaying veterinary council registration officials’ numbers in public areas for reporting (66.67%) to face the constraint of treatment of animals by village quacks Furthermore, it shows that majority of the experts suggested conducting frequent deworming campaign programmes (73.33%) and demonstrating the deworming success in public places (73.33%) to manage the constraint of poor knowledge on the source of parasitic infection.
Based on the results, it can be said that private veterinary practitioners were faced constraints viz., self-medication by livestock owners and/or farmers, treatment of animals by village quacks, absence of efficient diagnostic-laboratory support and injury or risk of injury. Animal husbandry experts recommended valuable measures to address these constraints, such as conducting ration balancing awareness campaign among farmers and refresher diagnostic laboratory management training programme for field private veterinarians. Overall, communicating constraints of PVPs and expert ideas to policy holders is essential for one health approach, improved animal health, increased production and lower treatment costs for farmers.
The authors sincerely acknowledge the veterinary doctors for contributing their opinion for this research study.
All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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