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Management interventions in dairy herds: exploring within herd uncertainty using an integrated Bayesian model

Green, Martin J.; Medley, Graham F.; Bradley, Andrew J.; Browne, William J.

Authors

Martin J. Green martin.green@nottingham.ac.uk

Graham F. Medley

Andrew J. Bradley

William J. Browne



Abstract

Knowledge of the efficacy of an intervention for disease control on an individual farm is
essential to make good decisions on preventive healthcare, but the uncertainty in outcome associated with
undertaking a specific control strategy has rarely been considered in veterinary medicine. The purpose of
this research was to explore the uncertainty in change in disease incidence and financial benefit that could
occur on different farms, when two effective farm management interventions are undertaken. Bovine
mastitis was used as an example disease and the research was conducted using data from an intervention
study as prior information within an integrated Bayesian simulation model. Predictions were made of the
reduction in clinical mastitis within 30 days of calving on 52 farms, attributable to the application of two
herd interventions previously reported as effective; rotation of dry cow pasture and differential dry cow
therapy. Results indicated that there were important degrees of uncertainty in the predicted reduction in
clinical mastitis for individual farms when either intervention was undertaken; the magnitude of the 95%
credible intervals for reduced clinical mastitis incidence were substantial and of clinical relevance. The large
uncertainty associated with the predicted reduction in clinical mastitis attributable to the interventions
resulted in important variability in possible financial outcomes for each farm. The uncertainty in outcome
associated with farm control measures illustrates the difficulty facing a veterinary clinician when making an
on-farm decision and highlights the importance of iterative herd health procedures (continual evaluation,
reassessment and adjusted interventions) to optimise health in an individual herd.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2009
Journal Veterinary Research
Print ISSN 0928-4249
Electronic ISSN 0928-4249
Publisher Humana Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 2
Article Number Article 22
APA6 Citation Green, M. J., Medley, G. F., Bradley, A. J., & Browne, W. J. (2009). Management interventions in dairy herds: exploring within herd uncertainty using an integrated Bayesian model. Veterinary Research, 41(2), doi:10.1051/vetres/2009070
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/vetres/2009070
Keywords disease control, dairy cow, uncertainty within herd, Bayesian model
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/vetres/2009070
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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