Sustainable intensification of UK livestock production: a social scientific approach

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

This research will focus on the human factors that influence the management of diseases in domestic livestock. Specifically, it will analyse how and why livestock farmers make their decisions (usually in collaboration with advisors and in response to government regulation), how this affects disease control and, more widely, farm productivity and competitiveness, acceptance of agricultural innovation, and adoption of new technologies. Work will focus on bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and the opportunities and obstacles faced by government and farm advisors in communicating risk and encouraging change. This is an important case study: the incidence of bTB in England and Wales has been rising since the mid-1980s, the area in which bTB is considered 'endemic' has gradually expanded, and the cost of dealing with bTB is considerable to both taxpayers and livestock farmers. Further, bTB is a complex and highly politicised disease, making it important to explore social as well as scientific factors that influence the spread of disease and decisions regarding its management. The research will examine existing evidence of the opportunities and obstacles faced by government, advisors and farmers; identify and study successful examples of good communication of effective disease management practices; examine in detail the chain and methods of communication; and present the findings to government and the farming industry. The results will identify effective communication methods and disease management approaches that can be implemented in government policy and more successfully accessed and adopted by farmers.

Planned Impact

The direct beneficiaries of the research will be the Animal and Plant Health Evidence and Analysis (APHEA) team and bovine tuberculosis (bTB) policy team within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Additional indirect benefits will accrue for Defra as a whole in the sharing of best practice between departments and the provision of training in innovative social science research methods for both social researchers and policy teams. Key stakeholder organisations will also be interested and potentially benefit from the empirical phases of the research; in particular, through the deployment of social network analysis in identifying key nodes and routes for knowledge exchange.

APHEA and bTB policy: This FRL fellowship will feed directly into the evidence and analysis-base for bovine tuberculosis, integrating social research understandings and methodologies into the policy-making process. The policy and evidence teams will benefit from understanding the social practices inherent in farmer decision-making and the translation of 'best practice' into 'farm practice'; it will provide critical evidence on communication strategies and effective use of knowledge 'brokers', leading to the development of new and improved communication tools, and the barriers and enablers to adopting certain practices/regulations on-farm. The applicant's knowledge of the policy context and previous experience of close working with these evidence and policy teams means that the benefits will start to accrue immediately; arguably, the translation of research into policy and practice will be more effective and more immediate than 'external' academic recommendations. Anticipated long-term impacts include an increase in the understanding and use of more diverse and innovative social research methodologies within Defra's evidence and analysis (internally and in commissioning academic research). This will be achieved via the provision of a number of co-training opportunities, organised by the applicant. Specifically, social network analysis has been employed within the Department of Justice and the Home Office, but has been largely absent from Defra's evidence and analysis.

Government agencies: Those agencies employed to provide predominantly natural science evidence (e.g. FERA and AHVLA) will benefit from receiving presentations and summary documents on project findings. Specifically, the FRL fellowship has the indirect benefit of embedding understandings of what social science is, the methodologies that are available and the questions that can be asked and answered to generate socially-informed research to respond to complex sustainability challenges. Natural science colleagues within government agencies (where social science is largely absent) and within academic institutions will benefit through a greater ability to cultivate more informed and 'successful' interdisciplinary research collaborations based upon greater understandings of social science approaches and methodologies.

Industry: Industry organisations, including the NFU, breed societies and veterinary practices will benefit from a greater understanding of knowledge transfer and their role in that process. For example, the NFU have recently re-established their network of 'county advisors' to reengage with the needs of their membership; an understanding of social practices and the social networks via which information is transferred and adopted would be very valuable in their assessment and approach to this 'reengagement'. There is also the potential for further work to demonstrate the utility of social network analysis in industry information campaigns and in agri-business decision-making and the generation of market intelligence. The applicant proposes to assess the potential for translating social network analysis into industry and business applications, leading to the preparation of a 'follow-on' fund application in the final year of the fellowship.
 
Description Notable research developments include:

Theoretical and methodological development:
Previous social scientific research on animal health and welfare (and specifically bovine tuberculosis) has tended to focus on the attitudes and behaviours of individual farmers and animal keepers. Whilst useful, this approach does not provide a comprehensive understanding of the wider influences on disease management on farms. This research has contributed to broadening the research and policy focus through providing an understanding of the role that wider biophysical (e.g. the constraints of existing farm buildings and infrastructure) and social (e.g. skills, knowledges, norms, policies) factors play in guiding efforts to improve animal health and welfare. In addition to helping policy makers and practitioners understand the importance of recognising and addressing these wider issues, the research has sought to proactively identify and generate solutions to these challenges. This culminated in a series of on-farm biosecurity events ('hacks') which brought together farmers, vets, policy makers, engineers and designers to co-design practical processes and prototype products that would be workable and effective in an on-farm environment. Policy makers and practitioners (mainly farmers and vets) have been involved at each stage of the research, ensuring that they benefited from research activities and findings throughout the duration of the project.

Notable policy and practice developments include:
1. Development of a bovine TB Biosecurity Action Plan: The PI designed and lead-facilitated a workshop (in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) for 45 stakeholders in May 2014 to explore the factors influencing the implementation of biosecurity measures. The workshop report, authored by the PI, formed the basis of discussions to develop the joint Defra and industry Biosecurity Action Plan for Improving Herd Resilience to bovine TB, published 18th December 2014. During the course of the fellowship, the PI has contributed to the delivery of a number of complementary actions from the Action Plan, including preparing a summary of the evidence underpinning the TB biosecurity 5 Point Plan (used widely within industry and published on the government-industry website (www.tbhub.co.uk) and developing a new TB biosecurity innovation plan, which challenged farmers, industry, policy makers, designers, engineers and academia to create solutions to on-farm biosecurity issues (via biosecurity 'hacks'). As a result of the on-farm hacks, the PI has collaborated with engineering colleagues at the University of Sheffield and badger ecologists at Defra's research facility, Woodchester Park, to develop an enhanced approach to badger monitoring, using automated detection and machine learning technology. The ability to more effectively monitor the badger population will unlock future epidemiological research potential and social research potential via the development of on-farm biosecurity interventions. In 2017, the PI designed and delivered a two-day TB biosecurity workshop for Defra, designed to evaluate the TB biosecurity Action Plan (2014) and identify next steps for the policy. The workshop report, prepared by the PI, informed the recently published TB biosecurity Action Plan and her contribution is acknowledged in the executive summary: http://www.tbhub.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/biosecurity-progress-report-2018.pdf
2. Improved use of social science research in policy development: A series of slide packs (co-designed with policy leads in Defra's Animal Health and Welfare Directorate) have been developed to provide an accessible resource for policy-makers and industry stakeholders, summarising the key learnings from social science research on Animal Health and Welfare. The resources cut across the cattle, sheep, pig, poultry and equine sectors and provide 'top level findings' as well as an accompanying resource detailing the evidence sources. The project has received cross-directorate interest within Defra and is being considered as a template for the policy profession in bringing academics and policy makers together to create better evidence-based policy. The packs have been shared with and used by government agencies (e.g. the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Natural England, The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) and key stakeholder organisations. Following on from the success of the slide packs, the PI (alongside Defra's principal social reearcher for animal health and welfare) developed a framework for integrating understandings of farmer behaviour and farm practices into policy development. This has helped to establish a set of steps for policy makers to enhance the role of social science evidence and practice in the policy development process. The PI has also delivered seminars for Defra across multiple directorates on "Using social science research to inform policy development".
Exploitation Route The slide packs developed for policy will provide a resource for both policy makers and academics. They provide an accessible summary of the research which helps to overcome the challenges of poor institutional memory and establishes research priorities that can inform future developments in animal health and welfare.

The set of challenges and potential solutions identified as part of the research and during the on-farm biosecurity events ('hacks') will help to inform future policy and research priorities. These challenges will be included in Defra's research and development call for financial year 2017/18.

The biosecurity Action Plans (2014 and 2018) have and continue to guide the activities of Defra and Industry on enhancing TB biosecurity to help tackle the incidence of bovine tuberculosis.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://www.tbhub.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/biosecurity-progress-report-2018.pdf
 
Description This research has contributed to policy developments on bovine tuberculosis (particularly on biosecurity) and the development of priorities across the Animal Health and Welfare directorate within the Dept for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The PI developed a review of social scientific research on understanding and influencing farmer behaviour for the Animal Health and Welfare directorate within Defra. This work is being considered as a potentially case study by the Policy Profession within Defra as a model for integrated academic research from the social sciences into practical policy making outcomes. The outputs have already been used to inform policy on how to engage with the Private Veterinary Profession and has created the basis for designing biosecurity interventions with the Behavioural Insights Team. A workshop was also convened bringing together policy makers, industry stakeholders and academics to set social science research priorities for enhancing animal health and welfare outcomes and an interactive policy workshop was convened in March 2017 to embed learnings from the social sciences into animal health and welfare policy development. The PI also provided the research and wrote a report that underpinned a government-industry owned TB Biosecurity Action Plan. To maximise the ongoing benefits accruing from the fellowship, the PI has taken forward a number of complementary actions from the Action Plan, including preparing a summary of the evidence underpinning the TB biosecurity 5 Point Plan (used widely within industry and published on the government-industry website (www.tbhub.co.uk) and developing a new TB biosecurity innovation plan, which challenged farmers, industry and academia to create solutions to on-farm biosecurity issues (via 'biosecurity 'hacks'). The PI recently designed and delivered a two day workshop (June 2017) to evaluate the relative success of the Action Plan. The PI prepared a workshop report which informed the recently published (updated) TB biosecurity Action Plan; this will inform the future direction of the bovine TB biosecurity policy. The document contains an acknowledgement of the work of the PI and can be found here: http://www.tbhub.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/biosecurity-progress-report-2018.pdf. The PI was a member of Defra's research prioritisation committee for bovine tuberculosis and remains part of the TB biosecurity implementation group.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Contribution to Animal Health policy recognised in new Defra-Industry publication on TB biosecurity
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The updated biosecurity action plan (based upon the work of the PI in 2014 and 2017) reflects on the successes and areas for improvement of the previous plan and provides a new set of actions to encourage improvements in TB biosecurity. The aim is to mitigate the risk of a TB outbreak on farm through limiting contacts between cattle and between cattle and wildlife. The action plan has lead to multiple new initiatives, including the establishment of the TB Hub, which is an online resource to assist farmers in their decision-making on TB management, and the establishment of a national TB Advisory Service designed to give tailored one-to-one advice on improving TB biosecurity on individual farms.
URL http://www.tbhub.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/biosecurity-progress-report-2018.pdf
 
Description Defra-Natural England Expert Panel on Social Science Evidence for Improving Agri-Environment Outcomes
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact This expert panel will provide social scientific expertise to help shape the new post-Brexit agri-environment schemes (currently worth c. £3bn annually to UK farmers). The redesign aims to deliver public goods, focusing on positive environmental outcomes.
 
Description Member of Defra project board for the development of new Strategy to Achieve Officially TB Free Status for England (released April 2014).
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Improved the strategic direction of the policy. My role was to use the findings of a project I commissioned - on behalf of Defra - to inform the development of the new TB Strategy. I wrote the business case for a Sciencewise (partner of the Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills) project which aimed to better understand stakeholder (including wider general public as taxpayers) responses to the Strategy. The results of this collaboration are related to the content of my ESRC fellowship and the benefits accrued after I started on the grant. Details at the URL below: http://www.sciencewise-erc.org.uk/cms/citizen-dialogue-on-bovine-tb
URL http://goo.gl/ZxkxCr
 
Description Member of Endemic Animal Disease Expert Elicitation Workshop to Inform Spending Review
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Member of the Defra bovine TB Biosecurity Implementation Group and prepared an evaluation report as the basis for the revised TB Biosecurity Action Plan
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Changes to the policy interventions governing TB biosecurity. The updated report and Action Plan is pending publication.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cattle-biosecurity-action-plan-for-improving-herd-resilie...
 
Description Workshop report as basis for TB Biosecurity Action Plan Development
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cattle-biosecurity-action-plan-for-improving-herd-resilie...
 
Description Agri-Environmental Governance Post-Brexit : Co-production of policy frameworks
Amount £603,785 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/S007830/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 09/2021
 
Description Bovine TB Advisory Service
Amount £500,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 10/2020
 
Description Brexit and the Environment: redesigning Environmental Land Management payments
Amount £49,934 (GBP)
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 08/2018
 
Description Decision-making research into farmers' cattle purchasing behaviour, investigating the current role of TB risk assessment in purchase decisions and appraising future ways to increase the importance of such risk assessment
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ZF0532 
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2019 
End 03/2020
 
Description Defra TB Programme
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description Defra TB Research and Development budget
Amount £11,239 (GBP)
Funding ID SE3295 
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 05/2017
 
Description Exotic Disease Compensation Review: Behaviours Project - Part 2 (Primary Research)
Amount £79,000 (GBP)
Funding ID SE4309 
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2014 
End 04/2015
 
Description Grantham Scholarship
Amount £80,452 (GBP)
Organisation University of Sheffield 
Department Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 10/2019
 
Description Impact Acceleration Account
Amount £35,000 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2015 
End 12/2016
 
Description Improved compliance with pig tail docking and environmental enrichment legislation
Amount £70,000 (GBP)
Funding ID AW0145 
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 07/2018
 
Description Northern 8 Universities Pump-Priming Fund
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation N8 Universities 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 05/2018
 
Description Northern 8 Universities Pump-Priming Fund
Amount £7,500 (GBP)
Organisation N8 Universities 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description Research Fellowship
Amount £46,000 (GBP)
Funding ID DO0118 
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
 
Title Biosecurity 'hacks' as a means of improving co-design of on-farm disease management techniques 
Description A methodological innovation of the project was running two two day 'biosecurity hacks' on farms (see funding section) in Cornwall and Cheshire to bring together different expertise to identify challenges and potential solutions to improve on-farm biosecurity. Attendees included Defra policy and evidence colleagues; personnel from the Animal and Plant Health Agency; Welsh Government; British Cattle Veterinary Association, National Farmers Union and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Recognising the benefit of this activity, Defra have indicated that they will provide follow-on funding via their R&D budget to trial interventions identified by the biosecurity hacks. This will involve engaging farmers, academics and SMEs in co-designing projects to provide evidence on the efficacy of individual measures. As a direct outcome of the application of this method, defra conducted an evidence review around areas of uncertainty raised during the hacks and provided research funding to develop one of the ideas further: automated badger monitoring (see further funding section). 
 
Title Slide packs for policy 
Description A series of slide packs (co-designed with policy leads in Defra's Animal Health and Welfare Directorate) have been developed to provide an accessible resource for policy-makers and industry stakeholders, summarising the key learnings from social science research on Animal Health and Welfare. The resources cut across the cattle, sheep, pig, poultry and equine sectors and provide 'top level findings' as well as an accompanying, comprehensive review resource detailing the evidence. This is a methodological development because it is a mechanism to embed and enhance the use of existing research in government, offering high level findings and more detailed evidence review. The aim is to overcome issues of difficulties in retaining institutional memory. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The project has received cross-directorate interest within Defra and is being considered as a template for the policy profession in bringing academics and policy makers together to create better evidence-based policy. The packs have been shared with government agencies (e.g. the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Natural England, The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) and key stakeholder organisations across the livestock sectors. 
 
Description Antimicrobial resistance 
Organisation Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution A multidisciplinary research collaboration has been established between myself and academics at the University of Liverpool Veterinary School (Prof Rob Smith, Dr Gina Pinchbeck), Sheffield Hallam Design School (Prof Ian Gwilt) and Cardiff University (Dr Gareth Enticott). This has resulted in a bid (as Co-I)) to the ESRC AMR call (£1.2mn - unsuccessful) and a bid (as PI) to the AHRC Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Real World: The Indoor and Built Environment call (£250k - unsuccessful). A further pump-priming bid has been secured under the Northern 8 Universities Fund to fund an interdisciplinary collaboration between University of Liverpool Veterinary School (Prof Rob Smith, Dr Gina Pinchbeck, Dr Sophia Latham), the University of Sheffield (Dr Little) and Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (unable to add this information into the list of outputs/outcomes box below). Partners include - Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group; British Cattle Veterinary Association and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Dairy Group
Collaborator Contribution Partners at University of Liverpool Veterinary School (Prof Rob Smith, Dr Gina Pinchbeck - epidemiology), Sheffield Hallam Design School (Prof Ian Gwilt - process design) and Cardiff University (Dr Gareth Enticott - social science) as Co-Is on bids. Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (data and access to farms); British Cattle Veterinary Association (steering group) and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Dairy Group (steering group and access to data) as project partners, offering in-kind support.
Impact Application (unsuccessful) to ESRC Tackling antimicrobial resistance: behaviour within and beyond the healthcare setting funding call - multi-disciplinary collaboration between veterinary epidemiologists and social scientists Application (unsuccessful) to AHRC Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Real World: The Indoor and Built Environment funding call - multi-disciplinary collaboration between veterinary epidemiologists, social scientists and designers
Start Year 2016
 
Description Antimicrobial resistance 
Organisation British Cattle Veterinary Association
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution A multidisciplinary research collaboration has been established between myself and academics at the University of Liverpool Veterinary School (Prof Rob Smith, Dr Gina Pinchbeck), Sheffield Hallam Design School (Prof Ian Gwilt) and Cardiff University (Dr Gareth Enticott). This has resulted in a bid (as Co-I)) to the ESRC AMR call (£1.2mn - unsuccessful) and a bid (as PI) to the AHRC Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Real World: The Indoor and Built Environment call (£250k - unsuccessful). A further pump-priming bid has been secured under the Northern 8 Universities Fund to fund an interdisciplinary collaboration between University of Liverpool Veterinary School (Prof Rob Smith, Dr Gina Pinchbeck, Dr Sophia Latham), the University of Sheffield (Dr Little) and Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (unable to add this information into the list of outputs/outcomes box below). Partners include - Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group; British Cattle Veterinary Association and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Dairy Group
Collaborator Contribution Partners at University of Liverpool Veterinary School (Prof Rob Smith, Dr Gina Pinchbeck - epidemiology), Sheffield Hallam Design School (Prof Ian Gwilt - process design) and Cardiff University (Dr Gareth Enticott - social science) as Co-Is on bids. Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (data and access to farms); British Cattle Veterinary Association (steering group) and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Dairy Group (steering group and access to data) as project partners, offering in-kind support.
Impact Application (unsuccessful) to ESRC Tackling antimicrobial resistance: behaviour within and beyond the healthcare setting funding call - multi-disciplinary collaboration between veterinary epidemiologists and social scientists Application (unsuccessful) to AHRC Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Real World: The Indoor and Built Environment funding call - multi-disciplinary collaboration between veterinary epidemiologists, social scientists and designers
Start Year 2016
 
Description Antimicrobial resistance 
Organisation Tesco Plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution A multidisciplinary research collaboration has been established between myself and academics at the University of Liverpool Veterinary School (Prof Rob Smith, Dr Gina Pinchbeck), Sheffield Hallam Design School (Prof Ian Gwilt) and Cardiff University (Dr Gareth Enticott). This has resulted in a bid (as Co-I)) to the ESRC AMR call (£1.2mn - unsuccessful) and a bid (as PI) to the AHRC Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Real World: The Indoor and Built Environment call (£250k - unsuccessful). A further pump-priming bid has been secured under the Northern 8 Universities Fund to fund an interdisciplinary collaboration between University of Liverpool Veterinary School (Prof Rob Smith, Dr Gina Pinchbeck, Dr Sophia Latham), the University of Sheffield (Dr Little) and Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (unable to add this information into the list of outputs/outcomes box below). Partners include - Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group; British Cattle Veterinary Association and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Dairy Group
Collaborator Contribution Partners at University of Liverpool Veterinary School (Prof Rob Smith, Dr Gina Pinchbeck - epidemiology), Sheffield Hallam Design School (Prof Ian Gwilt - process design) and Cardiff University (Dr Gareth Enticott - social science) as Co-Is on bids. Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (data and access to farms); British Cattle Veterinary Association (steering group) and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Dairy Group (steering group and access to data) as project partners, offering in-kind support.
Impact Application (unsuccessful) to ESRC Tackling antimicrobial resistance: behaviour within and beyond the healthcare setting funding call - multi-disciplinary collaboration between veterinary epidemiologists and social scientists Application (unsuccessful) to AHRC Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Real World: The Indoor and Built Environment funding call - multi-disciplinary collaboration between veterinary epidemiologists, social scientists and designers
Start Year 2016
 
Description Feasibility study to improve badger monitoring through automatic recognition 
Organisation Animal and Plant Health Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between a social scientist, engineers (machine learning technology) and wildlife ecologists. I provide the bovine TB expertise and methodological input from the social sciences; the engineers analysed 8000 wildlife images to develop an algorithm to automatically detect badger activity; and the wildlife ecologists provided access to data and will be taking part in a deliberative workshop on future application of the approach.
Collaborator Contribution Defra funded the project. The APHA wildlife ecologists provided access to data and will be taking part in a deliberative workshop on future application of the approach.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration (social sciences, engineering, wildlife ecology). The final report will be available via the Defra website in May 2018.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Feasibility study to improve badger monitoring through automatic recognition 
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between a social scientist, engineers (machine learning technology) and wildlife ecologists. I provide the bovine TB expertise and methodological input from the social sciences; the engineers analysed 8000 wildlife images to develop an algorithm to automatically detect badger activity; and the wildlife ecologists provided access to data and will be taking part in a deliberative workshop on future application of the approach.
Collaborator Contribution Defra funded the project. The APHA wildlife ecologists provided access to data and will be taking part in a deliberative workshop on future application of the approach.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration (social sciences, engineering, wildlife ecology). The final report will be available via the Defra website in May 2018.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Research Fellowship at Defra 
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution My position enables me to work closely with the policy and evidence teams within the TB programme, applying social scientific knowledge to their research base. This includes making sure that relevant research from the social sciences is recognised, translated and applied to understandings of the disease and its management. Specifically, I have worked with the TB biosecurity working group (comprised of industry, academic and NGO stakeholders) to formulate a new Action Plan. I designed and lead facilitated a workshop for 45 stakeholders to explore the factors influencing the implementation of biosecurity measures. The workshop was designed around the principles of social practice theory. I wrote the workshop report which formed the basis of discussions on the development of the TB Biosecurity Action Plan. This Action Plan has been delivered against for the passed 3 years and I designed and delivered a workshop to evaluate the results of these actions in June 2017. The results will inform the next phase of TB biosecurity actions. Other activities include expert advice on research calls, quality assurance of research outcomes and multiple activities aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement around TB control. I have recently taken up a secondment to the Environmental Land Management (ELM) team to enhance the role of social science in the redesign of the agricultural payments system, post-Brexit. This involves working closely with the ELM and Farming Futures Teams within Defra and the social science unit at Natural England. The aim is to incorporate what is currently known about farmer decision-making and participation in agri-environment schemes and use it to create a workable, evidence-based system based upon payments for "public goods".
Collaborator Contribution Defra, as the principal research partner, have provided some financial input to these activities, their expertise, intellectual input, access to data, equipment and facilities (primarily for meetings).
Impact Unpublished Workshop report from TB Biosecurity Workshop, 1st May 2014. Unpublished Workshop report from TB Biosecurity Evaluation Workshop, 25-26th June 2017.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Animal Health and Welfare Board for England AGM poster presentation) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented a poster to 60 people (policy makers, industry professionals and academics) attending the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England's AGM at Defra, which sparked questions and requests for follow up information from attendees including the Chief Veterinary Officer for England
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://goo.gl/N6xoA4
 
Description Behaviours workshop (Defra, London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This workshop (organised by Little and a principal social scientist in Defra) will be held with 50-60 policy makers in Defra on 28th March (delayed because of Brexit activities), to embed social science research findings and approaches into animal health and welfare policy making.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Consultation engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The workshops were held with wildlife NGOs, farmers and veterinarians on enhancing the deployment of badger vaccination for the control of bovine TB. My role was to act as an independent lead facilitator to guide discussions and ensure measured debate. The results included:
- discussion and feedback on how to practically address barriers to implementation
- identifying knowledge gaps
- recommendations for government on how to improve implementation of badger vaccination

The results of the workshops were compiled by the Wildlife Trusts (with input from the National Farmers Union) and a report was submitted to Defra to inform their badger vaccination policy and the development of their Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS): http://goo.gl/EkqtMW

The results of the workshops were compiled by the Wildlife Trusts (with input from the National Farmers Union) and a report was submitted to Defra to inform their badger vaccination policy and the development of their Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS): http://goo.gl/EkqtMW I offered comment on the draft report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.badgertrust.org.uk/media/61468/enabling_badger_vaccine_deployment_final_report.pdf
 
Description Guest speaker at public lecture series (Bath) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk helped public and academic peers better understand how evidence informed policy making in government. It sparked questions, comment and critical reflection of the role of academics in the policy making process

After my talk, I received an email from an academic stating that my talk had enhanced his understanding of how to make his own research more relevant to policy makers.

As a result of the talk, I have been invited to present at an event organised by the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research (IPR) on behalf of the GW4 Social Sciences Group. The event in Jan 2014 is aimed at early career researchers and doctoral research students and will focus on how researchers can engage with policy audiences and how research can have real policy impact.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.bath.ac.uk/ipr/events/news-0106.html
 
Description Invite by England's Chief Veterinary Officer to give talk on farmer behaviour and decision-making 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited by the Chief Veterinary Officer for England (Defra) to present a lunchtime seminar on Farmer Behaviour and decision-making to vets and policy makers; this sparked discussion and debate about how social science understandings can be used to inform research and practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited talk (Defra's Environmental Quality Division) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presented a seminar on "Using social science research to inform policy development" alongside a member of Defra's Science Advisory Council. approximately 30 people attended (with others joining via phone). The following feedback was given by the policy team: "I just wanted to say thank you for your presentation on Tuesday. It provided a lot of useful insights and gave a lot to think about on how we can create policy that is more inclusive and meshes with the lives and needs of those it affects for better interventions".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk for Lost Lake Deer Hunt Club (Michigan, Minnesota) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact talk informed audience of the TB situation in the UK and stimulated questions and discussion about the role of cattle-wildlife interactions in disease control.

After my talk, the group requested that I send publications and updates on the progress of the research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Invited talk for NE Beef Producers Association (Michigan, USA) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact talk sparked questions and discussion afterwards

The group requested that I email resulting publications and return for a follow-up talk to report my results
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description NFU National Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Contributed material to a presentation delivered to 180 NFU members, which sparked debate on the example offered by Michigan in managing bovine TB and resulted in a request to present at the TB Eradication Advisory Group (pending)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description NFU research briefing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 13 members of the North East regional board of the NFU attended a talk on farmer behaviour and the policy making process, which sparked questions, discussion and requests for further collaboration in the future
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation to Animal Health and Welfare Board for England, Defra, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited by the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (industry panel which provides recommendations to Ministers) to present at their board meeting on 'The role of farmer behaviour in promoting positives outcomes for animal health and welfare'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation to Global Research Alliance for Bovine Tuberculosis (GRAbTB) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to practitioners, academics and policy makers on the role that social science should be playing in eradicating bovine tuberculosis. The outcome was a commitment to include a socio-economic research agenda within a forthcoming WHO publication on eradicating zoonotic tuberculosis.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Research presentation to Defra TB programme (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 25 members of Defra's TB Programme attended a talk summarising the approach to TB management in Michigan and Minnesota, which increased understanding of new management interventions around biosecurity and different approaches to developing disease management policies
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description Seminar (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 60-70 policy-makers attended a seminar on farmer behaviour and Animal Health and Welfare, sparking questions and discussion, and this received positive feedback from participants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Seminar, Government Veterinary Profession 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 30 members of the Government Veterinary Service attended a seminar on farmer behaviour and veterinary advice, sparking questions, discussion and feedback that the findings helped to provide evidence to validate their collective experiences and anecdotal evidence
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Session convener Royal Geographical Society with the IBG Annual International Conference (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Lead session convener (co-convened with Dr Rhiannon Naylor, Royal Agricultural University and Ms Caryl Williams, Defra) on 'Rural animal and plant health: Bridging the gap between research and policy through co-production'. Conference session was attended by c.50 academics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Session convener, World Congress of Rural Sociology (Toronto) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Lead session convener (co-convened with Dr. Anna Krzywoszynska, University of Sheffield) with 40 papers submitted and 21 papers accepted Farmers' knowledges and decision-making in rural transitions: what role for social science? Sessions over 2 days attended by c.30 academics at each paper
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2016
 
Description TED-style talk on bovine TB (Switzerland) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 35 people attended a TED-style talk on bovine TB, which sparked questions and discussion, and members of the audience reported back that they had a greater understanding of this complex issue

A filmed version of the talk is currently being edited and will be uploaded onto Youtube
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Talk on bovine TB (Cornwall) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented a talk on international TB eradication efforts to 15 members of the Cumbria/Lancashire TB Eradication Group (primarily farmers and vets) and offered the opportunity to take part in the final research phase of the project - this resulted in Cornwall Eradication Group hosting one of the innovative on-farm biosecurity 'hacks' which led to a series of biosecurity challenges and proposed solutions that have been incorporated into Defra's R&D plans for 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk on bovine TB (Cumbria) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented a talk on Michigan's experience of TB eradication efforts to 15 members of the Cumbria/Lancashire TB Eradication Group (primarily farmers and vets), which encouraged debate on how Low Risk TB areas can work towards TB Free Status and culminated in requests for talks at other eradicaiton groups around the country
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk on bovine TB (Devon) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented a talk on Michigan's experience of TB eradication efforts to 20 members of the Cumbria/Lancashire TB Eradication Group (primarily farmers and vets), which encouraged debate on how improved biosecurity can work towards TB Free Status and culminated in requests for talks at other eradication groups around the country.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk on bovine TB (Dorset) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented a talk on Michigan's experience of TB eradication efforts to 13 members of the Dorset TB Eradication Group (primarily farmers and vets) and discussed opportunity for further research; this encouraged debate on how enhanced biosecurity can work towards TB Free Status.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016