Participant Information Sheet

 
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Principal investigators
Dr Marta Hernandez-Jover* BVSc, MSc, PhD Sr. Lecturer Veterinary Epidemiology & Public Health, Graham Centre Livestock Systems Research Pathway Leader, Charles Sturt University E: mhernandez-jover@csu.edu.au P: (02) 6933 2086
Dr Yiheyis T Maru DVM, PGD, PhD Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Land and Water  E: yiheyis.maru@csiro.au  P: (08) 8950 7129
Co-investigators
Dr Jennifer Manyweathers* Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation & Charles Sturt University
Dr Aditi Mankad CSIRO Land & Water
Dr Barton Loechel CSIRO Land & Water
Dr Rob Woodgate Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation & Charles Sturt University
Ms Lynne Hayes  Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation & Charles Sturt University
Ms Heleen Kruger Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences
Students
Honours student Dione Howard Bachelor of Veterinary Science student Charles Sturt University
PhD candidate Dr Emma Davis  School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University
*student supervisor
You are invited to participate in a research study which aims to understand the animal health management practices and communication and extension needs of sheep producers in Australia. Please note that to participate in the research you must be over 18 years old.
This research is a subproject of a larger project on improved surveillance, preparedness and return to trade from emergency animal disease incursions using foot and mouth disease (FMD) as a model. This project is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme, and by producer levies from Australian FMD-susceptible livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs) industries and Charles Sturt University, leveraging significant in-kind support from the research partners.
The research partners for this project are the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Charles Sturt University (CSU), the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, supported by Animal Health Australia (AHA).The project commenced in July 2016 and will conclude in June 2020.
This sub project is being conducted by researchers from Charles Sturt University (CSU), Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences and CSIRO, and includes a CSU Honours student and a CSU PhD student. The current study incorporates two separate, but related activities. Part 1 involves a questionnaire and it is this activity to which this information sheet primarily applies.  Part 2 is a future activity that will be undertaken with a small group of questionnaire respondents.
Before you decide whether or not you wish to participate in this study, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish.
What is the purpose of this study?
The main objectives of this research are:
1.        To enhance our current understanding of sheep producer characteristics and practices, that define the risk of emergency animal disease introduction and delayed detection and reporting, more specifically in relation to behaviour and attitudes towards surveillance.
2.        To identify communication and extension needs of sheep producers for improving the management of animal diseases.
Data from this study will contribute to current research on biosecurity and surveillance.
Why have I been invited to participate in this study?
For this study we are seeking the participation of producers who are currently involved in the sheep industry.

What does this study involve?
Participation in Part 1 of this study does not place you under any obligation to continue further. A brief description of what Part 2 involves is provided at the end of this section, with additional information to be provided and separate consent sought, from those expressing an interest at a later date.
All researchers, including students, will contribute to Part 1 of the study, with Part 2 of the study being completed by the Honours student under supervision.
Part 1: If you agree to participate, you should continue to the end of this information sheet and then proceed to the questionnaire. The areas covered in the questionnaire will include animal husbandry, animal health monitoring, preferred communication methods and information sources. It is expected that the time required to complete the questionnaire is around 30 mins.  Whilst written consent will not be obtained, consent is implied by the submission of your responses.
Part 2: At the completion of the questionnaire you will have the opportunity to express an interest in participating in Part 2 of the research.  From those who provide their contact details for this purpose we will select a maximum of 20 participants. Please note that due to restrictions on participant numbers, we may not contact all those who have indicated an interest. Producers will be selected so they represent the diversity of questionnaire participants in relation to number of sheep and production system.  If we do not contact you please be assured that we appreciate your willingness to be involved.
Participants will be asked to review a mobile software application (up to 30 minutes of time required).  Following this, you will participate in a telephone interview (up to 30 minutes of time required) and asked to provide your feedback on the materials. 
Are there any risks and benefits to me in taking part in this study?
There are no identified risks to you should you choose to participate in this research. We do however understand that animal health management and biosecurity may be a sensitive topic for some people and assure you that participation in this research is confidential and voluntary.
How is this study being paid for?

This project is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme, and by producer levies from Australian FMD-susceptible livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs) industries and Charles Sturt University, leveraging significant in-kind support from the research partners.
The research partners for this project are the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Charles Sturt University (CSU), the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, supported by Animal Health Australia (AHA).The project commenced in July 2016 and will conclude in June 2020.
Will taking part in this study cost me anything, and will I be paid?
There are no costs associated with participating in this research. 
For those completing the questionnaire, you will have the opportunity to go into the draw to win 1 of 20 retail gift vouchers (each of AU $50). If you elect to go into the draw, you will be redirected through the survey tool to another location in which to enter your contact details. This will ensure that any contact details provided, are not linked to your questionnaire responses. Any contact details provided for this purpose will be deleted at the conclusion of the prize draw. All those participating in Part 2 will be offered an AU$50 retail gift voucher as recognition of the time involved.
What if I don’t want to take part in this study?
Participation in this research is entirely your choice. Only those people who give their informed consent will be included in the project. Whether or not you decide to participate is your decision and will not disadvantage you.
What if I participate and want to withdraw later?
There are no consequences for withdrawing from the study. As the questionnaire is anonymous (with the exception of those who provide their details for Part 2), it will not be possible to remove individual responses once responses have been submitted. Please note that as we will be separating contact details from questionnaire responses once the participants for Part 2 have been confirmed, requests for removal from those who have provided contact details will need to be considered on an individual basis as this will depend upon the timing of the request.
Responses cannot be removed once data analysis has commenced.
How will my confidentiality be protected?
Participation in the questionnaire is anonymous. As previously mentioned, if you choose to provide your contact details for the follow-up phone interview, once the participants have been selected, personal contact information will be removed from the questionnaire and stored separately, ensuring that the questionnaires are anonymous. Any information collected by the researchers will be stored securely and only accessed by the researchers unless you consent otherwise, except as re
What will happen to the information that I give you?
It is the intention of the researchers to produce a report to funding bodies including producers via their industry representative bodies. This study will also be used to produce an Honours thesis and contribute to a PhD. The outcomes of the study may also be published in an appropriate scientific journal. Individuals will not be personally identified in any reports arising from the research.
What should I do if I want to discuss this study further before I decide?
If you would like further information please contact:
Dr Jennifer Manyweathers Charles Sturt University, E: jmanyweathers@csu.edu.au P: 0419941552
Who should I contact if I have concerns about the conduct of this study?
Charles Sturt University’s Faculty of Science Human Research Ethics Committee has approved this project. If you have any complaints or reservations about the ethical conduct of this project, you may contact:
The Executive Officer
Faculty of Science Minimal Risk Human Ethics Committee
FOS-FHEC@csu.edu.au
Charles Sturt University,
C/- School of Exercise Sciences,
Bathurst Campus, Panorama Avenue,
Bathurst, NSW 2795.
Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated fully and you will be informed of the outcome.
What do I need to do next?
Read through the following consent statements:
·         I agree to participate in the above research project and give my consent freely.
·         I am over the age of 18.
·         I consent to participating in a questionnaire.
·         I understand that the project will be conducted as described in the Participant Information Sheet.
·         I understand I can withdraw from the project at any time and do not have to give any reason for withdrawing.
·         I understand that my personal information will remain confidential to the researchers.
·         I have had the opportunity to have questions answered to my satisfaction.

If you are happy to proceed, click on the “NEXT” button located at the bottom of this section. This will take you to the start of the questions. Once you start the questionnaire you will not be able to close the questionnaire and resume it at later time.

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