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Wanhainen, Maria, 2016. Disease Control and Biosecurity Measures on Specialized Beef Rearing Units in Sweden. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Clinical Sciences (until 231231)



The aim of this study was to investigate and evaluate how biosecurity measures are implemented on Swedish farms with specialized beef production.
In Swedish specialized beef production young calves are purchased for intensive rearing, mainly from dairy farms. The calves can be as young as two weeks old. They are reared and later sent to slaughter, and will be classified either as calves (about 8-11 months of age) or as young stock (bulls, heifers and steers older than 11 months). A large part of these beef producing herds purchase calves from many different farms, often through farm-to-farm agreements or through slaughterhouse agents. The agents collect young calves from different farms and thereafter sell and deliver them to specialized beef producers. Since the calves are very young and are mixed with calves from different farms there is a high risk of disease outbreaks. As in many parts of the world the two biggest health issues for calves are enteric and respiratory diseases, common disease pathogens are bovine Corona Virus (BCV), Cryptosporidium parvum (C. Parvum) and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV).
Disease introduction and outbreaks can be prevented through different preventive measures, i.e. biosecurity. The implementation of biosecurity is a common practice in the pig and poultry industry, but not as widespread in the cattle production. The actual extent in Sweden is not known and this study was therefore undertaken. A questionnaire on biosecurity measures was sent to a random sample of 200 farms with specialized beef production, and 100 replied. In addition, face-to-face interviews were made with two slaughterhouse agents and one person responsible for courses needed for authorization of animal transports.
The results showed that farmers at specialized beef rearing units perform few biosecurity measures; the majority performed rodent and bird control, participated in the voluntary salmonella program and swept the feed area. Larger herds performed more biosecurity measures compared to smaller farms. According to the participating farms not a large proportion of the calves expressed signs of diarrhea and pneumonia, but diarrhea is usually more common among younger calves than older ones and the age of the purchased calves varies between these herds. There was also a significant association between performing biosecurity measures and cases of diarrhea in the quarantine barn, less cases of diarrhea when implementing biosecurity but not a significant association between pneumonia and biosecurity. When interviewing slaughterhouse agents it seemed possible to implement a “health declaration” program for BRSV-calves in Sweden, similar to the previous BVDV-program. This might motivate specialized beef producers (and dairy herds) to improve their biosecurity. Nonetheless, there is room for an improvement of biosecurity in the Swedish specialized beef industry.

Main title:Disease Control and Biosecurity Measures on Specialized Beef Rearing Units in Sweden
Authors:Wanhainen, Maria
Supervisor:Emanuelson, Ulf
Examiner:Rustas, Bengt-Ove
Series:Examensarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Fakulteten för veterinärmedicin och husdjursvetenskap, Veterinärprogrammet
Volume/Sequential designation:2016
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:VY001 Agricultural Science Programme - Animal Science 270 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences (until 231231)
Keywords:antibiotics, attitude, perception, perception, antimicrobial resistance
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Deposited On:17 Jan 2017 11:12
Metadata Last Modified:15 Mar 2021 09:30

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