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Main research question/goal
What is economically the best control strategy for gastrointestinal nematode and liver fluke infections in dairy cattle? To answer this question, we are developing a decision support system. Using farm-specific economic and veterinarian information, we determine individual farm control strategies for economic important infectious diseases. Gastrointestinal nematode and liver fluke infections will serve as a case in this study.

Research approach
We review the literature to analyse how economic effects of animal diseases and/or control strategies are measured and how to relate these effects to farm-specific circumstances. We use data from Flemish dairy farms in an efficiency analysis in order to investigate the relationship between worm infections and productive efficiency. A bio-economic simulation model is used to determine the technical and economic effect of different control strategies at farm level. We incorporate the different control strategies and their effects at farm level in the decision support system. To develop this decision support tool, we conduct a participative process with possible end-users.

The ultimate goal of farm-specific advice is the optimal implementation of animal disease control and prevention strategies. The scientific knowledge and diagnosis tools obtained in this project can result in a win-win situation, linking a more efficient production process to a reduced use of antibiotics.
Effective start/end date1/10/1030/09/14

ID: 4151164