Cattle Health Surveillance System (CHeSS) of major infectious diseases in Alberta

Project Details

Status: Completed
Investment: $128,679
Commodity: Dairy Cattle
Organization: University of Calgary
Investigator: Herman Barkema

CHeSS will improve producer awareness of herd health considerations and improve consumer confidence in Alberta dairy products.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

Infectious diseases impact dairy producers, both directly in treatment and veterinary costs, and indirectly through reduced milk production and cow longevity, reproductive losses and regulatory implications.

Significant investments have been made to understand endemic infectious disease control in Canadian dairy. However, most projects have focused on one disease over a limited time period, and these projects have revealed that important disease prevalence varies widely among herds.

By focusing on surveillance of multiple infectious diseases, this project will combine resources and provide a comprehensive understanding of Alberta dairy endemic disease status and economic burden.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

This research will determine the prevalence of infectious diseases, increasing the understanding of endemic disease status in Alberta dairy. Findings will contribute to overall producer knowledge of herd health and the dairy industry.

By developing an understanding of the economic disease burden utilizing the collected prevalence data, this will provide the industry with important areas of focus for increasing industry sustainability.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

Outreach activities like on-farm studies will be used for knowledge transfer. Findings will be reports in industry publications like Milk Producer, Progressive Dairyman and Hoard's Dairyman. Research will also be shared on social media and in meetings of regional and national bovine veterinary groups.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.