The Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network

Project Code: ANH.21.17
Completed: In Progress. Results expected in March 2023.

Project Title:

The Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network

Researchers:

John Campbell D.V.M. D.V.Sc. john.campbell@usask.ca

John Campbell D.V.M. D.V.Sc., Cheryl Waldner D.V.M., Sarah Parker D.V.M., and Murray Jelinski D.V.M. (Western College of Veterinary Medicine); Claire Windeyer D.V.M., Ed Pajor D.V.M. (University of Calgary); Kathy Larson (University of Saskatchewan); Jessica Gordon D.V.M. (University of Guelph); Marjolaine Rousseau D.V.M. (University of Montreal);

Background:

Animal health surveillance is very limited in Canada’s cow-calf sector. The Western Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network (ANH.23.13) project involves 100 herds in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Information has been gathered on animal welfare, marketing and production practices, disease prevalence, antimicrobial use, trace mineral deficiencies and herd productivity. The research team will build on that success and expand the network to include herds in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

Objectives:

To recruit a group of 175 herds to collect baseline information on herd productivity, welfare practices, health, nutrition and biosecurity will be collected through regular surveys.

What They Will Do:

This project will support the basic infrastructure of the network. Cooperating producers and veterinary clinics will be recruited and retained, regular baseline surveys on production practices will be conducted, and serum and fecal samples will be collected and banked.

Herds in Western (120) and Eastern (55) Canada that have enough cows, are willing to participate and maintain adequate records will be identified. Surveys (e.g. welfare practices and attitudes, biosecurity practices, health management (e.g. vaccination practices, and nutritional and production practices), and some topics identified by participants) will be web- or paper-based; production data will likely be collected through a smartphone app to make sure it’s obtained on a timely basis. Economic analyses will determine the industry costs of various production limiting diseases, as well as regional variations.

Implications:

This project will expand the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network to a national scope, generate productivity, management, economic and animal health and disease data from a much broader range of environments and production systems, and identify promising knowledge transfer opportunities and potential research needs.

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