Milk production could be responsible for zoonotic diseases which have public health and economic importance. The following study assessed knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) about zoonotic diseases among smallholder cattle farmers in Gicumbi District of Rwanda. The data were collected from 120 randomly farmers through a questionnaire, then coded and analyzed using SPSS software. The results show that the majority (93.33% and 72.50%) of the interviewed farmers knew that diseases can be transmitted from respectively animal to human and vice-versa. The majority (93.33%) of the farmers knew at least one zoonotic disease. The mostly known zoonotic diseases were tuberculosis (72.32%), worm infestation (61.61%), brucellosis (12.50%), rabies (10.71%) and anthrax (7.14%). The two main sources of information regarding the zoonotic diseases were the radio and health officials (62.50% and 47.32%, respectively). A considerable proportion of respondents had practices and attitudes like consumption of raw milk (14.2%), not washing hands after contact with animals (16.8%) and sharing some vessels with animals (36.7%) that increase the risk of zoonosis transmission. The results show that knowledge, practices and attitudes towards zoonosis are still low and need improvement. We recommend sensitization of zoonosis through mass media and incorporating the module about zoonosis in farmers’ training and meetings.
Keywords: attitudes; dairy farmers; diseases; knowledge; Practices; transmission; zoonoses