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Research papers and journal articles

Below is a list of scientific papers and journal articles with links where available.

Please note that not all are open access and may require subscription to access the full article.

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Published papers


MacGillivray, F., Bard, A.M., Cobb, K.A., Corah, L., Reyher, K. K., Green, M.J. and Wapenaar, W., 2023. Communicating without words: Measuring nonverbal communication between veterinarians and farmers during routine herd health consultations. J Dairy Sci, 106, 8. DOI:

Animal health

MacGillivray, F., De Waal, T., Maguire, D., Taylor, M.A., Boughtflower, V., Daniel, R., Jenkins, T., Rice, B.J. and Forbes, A.B., 2013. An abattoir survey to determine the population profile in the autumn of Fasciola hepatica in condemned bovine livers from Ireland and the United Kingdom. Int J Appl Res Vet M, 11, pp.1-6. DOI:


MacGillivray, F., Wapenaar, W., Giles, G., Atkinson, O., Whittick, S. and Mayer, J., 2020. Can communication in farm animal veterinary practice be improved through a focus on the non-verbal element? A clinical forum. Livestock, 25(1), pp.24-29. DOI: doi:10.12968/live.2020.25.1.24

Animal health

Booth, R., MacGillivray, F., Armstrong, D., Brownlie, J., 2016. Control of bovine viral diarrhoea virus at the national level: a brief summary of European BVD control past, present and future. Livestock, 21(6). DOI: doi:10.12968/live.2016.21.6.338

Communication/Animal health

Barrett, D., Tilling, O., Button, E., Hart, K., MacGillivray, F., Jansen, J., Fitzgerald, K., Sherwin, G., 2020. Youngstock health: Effective disease prevention today ensuring tomorrow’s profitable herd. Livestock, 25, IssueSup2. DOI:

Animal health

MacGillivray, F., de Waal, T., Taylor, M.A., Boughtflower, V., Daniel, R., Jenkins, T., Rice, B., Forbes, A., 2011. A survey to determine the population characteristics of Fasciola hepatica in cattle livers in autumn and winter in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Cattle Practice, 19:207

Journal articles


March 2022

Abstract from 'How a focus on nonverbal communication can help with difficult conversations' (DOI:

Difficult conversations can happen in all aspects of daily life and can certainly take place during the working life of a farm animal veterinary surgeon. Conversations involve both verbal and nonverbal content. This article will examine why conversations can be difficult and provide examples within a veterinary context. It will explore the role that emotions play and the associated nonverbal behaviours exhibited. Finally, it will consider some ways to help manage emotions and highlight how nonverbal communication can be used to better engage with others, thus increasing the chance of positive outcomes for difficult conversations.

It's Your Field

Winter 2022

Extract from article 'Actions speak louder than words':

Let’s start by considering why people say yes when they really mean maybe, no or I’m not convinced. Let’s say that your goal might be to reduce the incidence of lameness or mastitis in the herd. It’s likely that you have a good relationship with your farmer, and they don’t want to go against what you’re telling them, so they agree with your proposed plan. Or do they?

It’s possible to pick up signs of inner conflict – saying yes but not meaning yes - if you know what to look for. It’s easier to say aloud ‘yes I’ll do that’ than it is to hide feelings of unease, uncertainty or disagreement, communicated through silent messages, commonly termed body language. What you should be looking out for during your conversations are any signs of discomfort, arising because of the topic of discussion, and those signs come about as a physical manifestation of negative emotions that occur subconsciously.

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