Much of our work is in the development of models to describe the transmission of disease in animal populations. Some models details the spread of diease within herds, some between herds. We model many disease through species of cattle, sheep and pigs.
As time progresses we will try to make more of the models we produce available online. They will include details of the assumptions behind the models and links to any published scientific papers.
Pig health is at the centre of a sustainable UK national pig herd that contributes fully to national food security with reduced environmental impact. The industry believes targets will be achieved by minimising endemic disease and disease impact reduction. If such targets are to be met, farmers must have ready access to measures of their own farm performance on a regular basis and be aware of the available corrective actions to take.
SRUC, Scotland's Rural College was awarded a grant by the British Pig Executive (BPEX) to investigate the feasibility of developing a new or improved methodology to measure and monitor herd health score and/or a cost calculator for pig breeding and finishing herds.
Both the Breeding and Finishing herd cost calculators are capable of calculating a Herd Health Score and a Herd Health Cost.
The Herd Health Cost (HHC) allows producers to capture the costs and benefits associated with PRRS in breeding herds and enzootic pneumonia (EP) on finishing herds.
The Herd Health Scores (HHSs) assess relevant parameters in an easy and practical way and can be used by producers or their vets or advisers as a way of monitoring the farm in terms of health. The HHS also can be used to compare farms and in this way be used as a benchmarking tool.
The model linked draws together a bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) model from results on a beef suckler herd with an economic model to estimate the costs of the disease outbreak.
The model has been published in the peer reviewed paper Modelling and costing BVD outbreaks in beef herds, Veterinary Journal, 167(2), 143-149, 2004.
A follow up study to estimate active prevalence in Scottish herds may provide further background: The prevalence of bovine viral diarrhoea virus infection in beef suckler herds in Scotland, Veterinary Journal, 186(2), 226-231, 2010.
You can access the model by clicking on the image opposite.