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    Cat owners sought for Harper Adams student’s study into vaccination decisions

    Posted 1 March 2022

    A tabby cat looks at the camera.

    Cat owners’ reasonings over the vaccination of their pets are to be studied in research by a Harper Adams student.

    Hannah Bird, a final year BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing student, was inspired to investigate the subject after spending her placement year working in a veterinary practice in Rugeley – where she noticed that there was a clear difference between different pets when it came to owners’ decisions on vaccination.

    Hannah, from Heath Hayes near Cannock, said: “I discovered that it was much more common for dogs to be coming in for annual boosters or initial vaccination courses than cats, and I always wondered what the reasoning behind this may be. My cat is also currently not vaccinated so I wanted to explore whether other people’s reasonings may be the same as my own.”

    It will form the culmination of her Veterinary Nursing degree – a course Hannah was keen to study at Harper Adams after deciding the University was the best place to turn her love of animals into a career.

    She added: “From a young age I have always known that I wanted to work with animals; I never knew exactly what it was that I wanted to do, but I knew it had to be animal related. After carrying out some work experience in a variety of veterinary practices, it was clear that this was the profession I wanted to do.

    “I researched Harper a lot in the months running up to applying, comparing the different universities which offered the Veterinary Nursing degree course and eventually decided that this was where I wanted to study.

    “The campus was much more to my liking than the other universities that I looked at, the staff teaching on the course are mostly all veterinary staff such as Vet Nurses and Vet Surgeons, and the topics and modules really interested me, so I knew the course would be exactly what I wanted.

    “Studying at Harper has been extremely enjoyable over the last four years. I have really enjoyed my time here and have met some great people.

    “It has been very stressful these past few months with it being my final year, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

    Research participants should be 18 or over and own a cat or cats who are not strays and have not been vaccinated or who have not had a vaccine within the last three years. 

    Participating owners should also have access to a computer with Microsoft Teams or similar communications software, and not have an animal or veterinary related qualification or work within these industries.

    To take part, cat owners who meet these criteria simply need to drop Hannah an email on to set up an interview – these should take no longer than an hour.

    No personal information will be collected, but participants will be expected to sign a consent form to state that they agree to participate in the study – all interviews and forms will be securely stored and deleted at the end of the study.

    The research will be used by Hannah as part of her Honours Research Project – a detailed piece of research undertaken by Harper Adams undergraduates in their final year.

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