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UK researchers are seeking views on calves with bovine respiratory disease

19 December 2020

Researchers at Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) are seeking views from farmers and vets to develop a new quality-of-life tool for cattle.

It is hoped that the findings from the survey will inform the development of a new tool to assess the quality of life of calves with bovine respiratory disease (BRD).

Researchers said the tool will be similar to other health-related quality-of-life tools (HRQoL), used for other species to capture how the disease "feels" to the animal. This would be a major advancement in detecting disease and would ultimately lead to better treatments, care and outcomes for calves, they added.

SRUC researcher David Bell said: “At this time of year, respiratory disease can be an issue on farms. While there are a number of clinical methods to assess respiratory disease, to be able to fully understand the impact of disease on the animal, a method for measuring quality of life is needed.

“We are conducting a short survey to gauge how useful and valid specific indicators are in the assessment of quality of life. Participating in this and giving your opinion will help us establish what is useful for assessing the overall well-being of calves with respiratory disease.”

Beef and dairy farmers, calf rearing units, consultants and vets are all invited to take part in the survey. Responses close on 25 January.


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