Livestock owners with specifically increased disease awareness for Bluetongue: A new approach to disease surveillance For the first time in Switzerland, specifically trained livestock owners were included in a national disease
surveillance program by the Federal Veterinary Office. A questionnaire on data about clinical and epidemiological
aspects of Bluetongue Disease (BT) as well as on herd management was completed by 26 sheep owners three months after they had attended a training course about BT. The control group, consisted of 264 randomly selected sheep and cattle owners who had not visited a training course. Results showed that disease awareness for BT after attending the training course was considerably increased. This was especially evident in the better knowledge of the participants about the great number of possible symptoms. Training courses with the objective of increased disease
awareness of livestock owners are an efficient, costeffective instrument in control programs for exotic diseases.