Research Project Title

Use of antimicrobials in animal health on the island of Ireland: knowledge, attitudes and behaviour

You are being invited to take part in this research project. Before you decide to do so, it is important that you understand why this research is being conducted and what it will involve. Please take some time to read the following information carefully. Please email me at if you have any questions or if you would like more information. Thank you for your time.

The purpose of this research
This research project aims to investigate veterinarians’ understanding of antibiotics. It will also explore perceptions, attitudes and opinions that influence behaviours towards antibiotic usage. The project will build upon other research carried out and has been designed to allow comparisons with previous findings, to better understand the behaviours in relation to antibiotic usage on the Island of Ireland.

Why have you been invited to take part?
You have been chosen as you are involved in the production of food. It is important to explore your perception, attitudes, knowledge, and opinions in relation to antibiotics, to obtain a better understanding on what influences your behaviour surrounding antibiotic usage.

Do I have to take part?
It is up to you whether or not to take part. You can change your mind and withdraw at any stage. If you do decide to take part, you will be able to keep a copy of this information sheet. At the beginning of the study you will be asked to provide your own unique 4-digit ID code. Your data will only be identified by the unique 4-digit code you provide which only the researcher has access to, and the IP address tracking will be turned off. Meaning your information is pseudonymous for the purposes of withdrawal, only the researcher will be able to link you to your data. It is important that you keep/remember the unique code you provided as if you want to withdraw your response from the database you will have to contact researcher Claire McKernan ( and provide your unique code. Responses must be withdrawn within 2 weeks of survey completion, as data will be aggregated. You do not need a reason for withdrawing and this will have no effect on any future relationships with Queen’s University Belfast.

Should you wish to take part in the survey via skype/teams you will be invited to a private room to take part, and the discussion will be recorded using either Skype or Teams software. You will not be able to record the discussion, only the researcher will be able to record the discussion.
Should you wish to take part in the survey via telephone call, a separate recording device will be used. Again, all personal information will not be included in any transcriptions and your identity will remain confidential.

What will happen if I take part?
You will be asked to take part in a short online survey consisting of a series of questions lasting approximately 10-15 minutes. Followed by a telephone survey consisting of a series of questions lasting approximately 10 minutes.
What do I have to do?
Before taking part, it is vital that the consent form is completed electronically for the online survey and verbally for the interview-based survey.  Please answer all the questions as openly and honestly as possible. Questions are based on attitudes and perceptions, there are no right and wrong answers. At the beginning of the online survey you will be required to provide some general demographic information. If you feel uncomfortable answering these questions you have the option to select ‘prefer not to say’. There are no other commitments associated with participation. For the telephone call or video conferencing recording (Teams or skype), the discussion will be audio recorded, and the anonymised transcripts of the audio recordings will be used by the researchers working on this project.  Once transcribed, the original recording will be permanently deleted from research folder and software storage. This transcription will be completed by a professional transcription service and analysed using N-Vivo or similar software, which will be checked by the research team for accuracy. Your identity will not be compromised as only the unique code you provide will be used to identify the transcript. The data you provide will be stored in a password protected file on university premises, all data will be kept for no longer than is necessary and will be destroyed after this time.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?
We do not anticipate that you will experience any negative effects from taking part in this survey.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?
This work will have a beneficial impact within this field by contributing to findings that may be used to better farming practices and aid the reduction of antibiotic use on Irish and Northern Irish farms.

What if something goes wrong?
If you have any concerns about any aspects of the study, you can contact the Chief Investigator, Professor Moira Dean. Should you remain unhappy and wish to make a formal complaint, you can contact the Research Governance Team at Queen’s University Belfast (Telephone: 028 9097 2529; Email:

Will my information be confidential if I take part in this project?
All the information collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential, as your data will only be identified by the unique code you provided which only the researcher has. You will not be able to be identified or identifiable in any reports or publications. Any data collected about you during the survey will be stored in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679. Data collected may be shared in an anonymous form to allow reuse by the research team and project partner Teagasc. These anonymised data will not allow any participants to be identified or identifiable.

What will happen to the results of the research project?
Results of the research will be published. You will not be identifiable in any report or publication.

Who is funding this research?
The project is funded by Safefood Ireland.

Contacts for further information
Dr. Claire McKernan School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Email:
Professor Moira Dean, School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Email:

The School of Biological Sciences Office, 19 Chlorine Gardens, Belfast, BT9 5DL, Northern Ireland. Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5787, email:

This research will be conducted in compliance with data protection legislation.  For more information about how we look after your information, how to access your rights and who to contact if you have any queries or concerns about data protection please visit the Queen’s University Belfast website -

Question Title

* 1. Consent form: Use of antimicrobials in animal health on the island of Ireland: knowledge, attitudes and behaviour

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