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John F. Mee

Principal Research Officer - Veterinary

Research Interests

Dairy cattle

Herd health, Endemic infectious diseases, Calf health, Heifer rearing, Dairy cow welfare, Biosecurity, Abortion, Calving prediction, Dystocia, Congenital defects, Trace element deficiencies, Johne’s disease, Fertility performance, Salmonellosis, Mycoplasma bovis, Tick-borne diseases, Schmallenberg.

Beef cattle

Calf health, Congenital joint laxity and dwarfism (CJLD), Herd health.


Lamb mortality, Tick-borne diseases.

Current Projects


  • Biosecurity status of Irish dairy farms – assessment and intervention
  • Dairy calf housing and pneumonia.
  • Placental pathology and bovine fetopathy.
  • Coccidiosis in dairy calves - management practices and novel diagnostics
  • Calf mortality on Irish dairy farms
  • Comparison of environmental sampling to conventional testing methods for the detection of dairy herds infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis.
  • Transition period management and outcomes in Irish dairy herds.
  • ‘Summer scour’- national and international perspectives
  • Calf management practices in Polish dairy herds
  • Peri- and pre-weaning calf mortality on Canadian dairy farms


  • Bovine abortion: risk factors, pathogens and diagnostics
  • DETER-BVD; Early warning models for detecting re-emergence of BVD
  • Congenital defects in dairy and suckler calves diagnosed by Irish veterinary practitioners
  • BeSafe – Livestock Safety –Developing a Safety Intervention.


  • Ticks and tick-borne pathogens in sheep
  • Lamb mortality and ewe and lamb behavior and during the periparturient period – effects of genotype and management


Professor Adjunct, University College Cork, School of Biological Earth and Environmental Science, (UCC).

Professor Adjunct, University College Dublin, School of Veterinary Medicine, (UCD).

Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS), (2021) (Royal Veterinary College, London, UK)

European Registered Specialist in Bovine Health Management, (2004), (European Board of Veterinary Specialisation, Utrecht, The Netherlands).

European Food Safety Expert on Animal Health and Welfare (EFSA)

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Specialist in Cattle Health and Production, (2020), (Royal Veterinary College, London, UK)

National Registered Specialist in Bovine Perinatology, (2021), (Veterinary Council of Ireland)

National Registered Specialist in Bovine Health Management, (2014), (Veterinary Council of Ireland).

PhD (1991) National University of Ireland, University College Dublin.

MVM (2013) National University of Ireland, University College Dublin.

Dip ECBHM (2004) European College of Bovine Health Management, Munich, Germany.

MVB (1984) National University of Ireland, University College Dublin.

Sabbatical Scientist (1999) University of Melbourne and the Victorian Institute of Animal Science (VIAS), Melbourne, Australia.

Sabbatical Scientist (1998) Dairying Research Corporation (DRC), Hamilton, New Zealand

Professional Membership

Society membership:

Animal Health Ireland (Chair/Founding member of Biosecurity Technical Working Group; Founding Member of Calf Health TWG), (AHI)

British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA)

Cattle Association of Veterinary Ireland (CAVI)

European College of Bovine Health Management (ECBHM)

European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP)

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)

Royal Irish Academy (RIA): Life & Health Sciences Committee

Editorial Board membership:

Animal Reproduction Science, Irish Veterinary Journal (Deputy Editor), and Moorepark Open Day Book.

Google Scholar


Calving and Calf Health


Invited review: Bovine abortion—Incidence, risk factors and causes. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, (2023) 00, 1–11. https://doi. org/10.1111/rda.1436614390531, Mee, J. F.


How to investigate a stillbirth on farm. In Practice, (2021), 43 (7): 373-387. https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/inpr.71,
Geraghty, T., Mee, J.F., Murphy, A. and Orr, J .

Prolonged gestation:

Overview of Prolonged Gestation in Cattle and Sheep, In. The Merck Veterinary Manual, (2022), Editor, Line, S, MSD/Merck Veterinary Manual Publishing, https://www.msdvetmanual.com/reproductive-system/prolonged-gestation-in-cattle-and-sheep/overview-of-prolonged-gestation-in-cattle-and-sheep, Mee, J.F.

Congenital defects:

Risk factors for, and genetic association with, intestinal atresia in dairy calves. Animal Genetics, (2023), 00, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1111/age.13291, Keane, O.M., Carthy, T.R., Hanrahan, J.P., Matthews, D., McEwan, J.C., Rowe, S.J., Kenneally, J. and Mee, J.F.


Calving Management: A Questionnaire Survey of Veterinary Subject Matter Experts and Non-Experts, Animals, (2021), 11, 3129. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113129.  Voß, A.L.; Heuwieser, W.; Mee, J.F.; Fischer-Tenhagen, C.

Pre-calving nutrition:

Impacts of dairy cow nutrition precalving on calf health. Journal of Dairy Science Communications, (2023) 4, https://doi.org/10.3168/jdsc.2022-0281, Mee, J.F.

Calf mortality:

An observational study of calf mortality (1-100d) on Irish dairy farms and associations between biosecurity practices and calf mortality on farms participating in a Johne’s disease control programme. Journal of Dairy Science, (2023) 106:4966–4977, https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2022-22519 Conor G. McAloon, Jamie A. Tratalos, Luke O’Grady, Martin J. Green, Lawrence Gavey, David Graham, Simon J. More, Guy McGrath, Mee, J.F.

Calf health:

Managing calves/youngstock to optimise dairy herd health.  In: Improving Dairy Herd Health, (2021), Editor, Bouchard, E., Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge, UK, (www.bdspublishing.com), Chapter 9, 265-297, Mee, J.F.

Calf respiratory disease:

Prevalence of respiratory disease in Irish preweaned dairy calves using hierarchical Bayesian latent class analysis. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, (2023) 10:1149929. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2023.1149929,  Donlon JD, Mee J.F. and McAloon CG

Calf welfare:

Factors affecting the welfare of unweaned dairy calves destined for early slaughter and abattoir animal-based indicators reflecting their welfare on-farm. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. (2021), 8:645537, p.1-17, https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.645537, Boyle, L.A. and Mee, J.F.

Contract heifer rearing:

A survey of biosecurity and health management practices on Irish dairy farms engaged in contract-rearing, Journal of Dairy Science, (2021) 104: 12859-12870, https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2021-20500,  McCarthy, M. C., O’Grady, L., McAloon C. G. and Mee, J.F.

Herd Health and Welfare


Invited Review: Denormalising poor dairy youngstock management – dealing with ‘farm-blindness’, Journal of Animal Science, (2020), 98(S1): 140–149, doi:10.1093/jas/skaa137, Mee J.F.

Ruminant health:

Invited review: Ruminant health research – progress to date and future prospects, with an emphasis on Irish research. Irish Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, Special 60th Anniversary Issue, (2022) 1-32. DOI: 10.15212/ijafr-2020-0150. Mee, J.F., Barrett, D., Silva Boloña, P., Conneely, M., Earley, B., Fagan, S., Keane, O.M. and Lane, E.A.

Beef herd health:

Preventative Management of Beef Herd Health, In:  Prewencja Weterynaryjna, (2023) Editors R. Zabielskiego, T. Stefaniaka, Z. Gajewskiego,  Edra Urban & Partner spółką z o. o. z siedzibą we Wrocławiu, Poland, (in press), Urban-Chmiel, R. and Mee, J.F.

Syndromic surveillance:

Development of a syndromic surveillance system for Irish dairy cattle using milk recording data. Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2022) 204: 105667. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2022.105667,  Douglass, A., O’Grady, L., McGrath, G., Tratalos, J., Mee, J.F., Barret, D., Sanchez-Miguel, C., More, S., Madouasse, A., Green, M., Madden, J. and McAloon, C.G.


https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2023.7993.  EFSA AHAW Panel (EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Animal Welfare), Nielsen SS, Alvarez J, Bicout DJ, Calistri P, Canali E, Drewe JA, Garin‐Bastuji B, Gonzales Rojas JL, Schmidt CG, Herskin M, Michel V, Miranda Chueca MA, Padalino B, Roberts HC, Spoolder H, Stahl K, Velarde A, Viltrop A, De Boyer des Roches A, Jensen MB, Mee J, F., Green M, Thulke H-H, Bailly‐Caumette E, Candiani D, Lima E, Van der Stede Y and Winckler C.


Perceptions about the causes, treatment and prevention of lameness in a pasture-based dairy industry. In: Proceedings of the 16th International Congress on Production Diseases in Farm Animals, (2016), Wageningen, The Netherlands, p.37, Marchewka, J., Mee, J.F. and Boyle, L.


Feeding system effects on dairy cow rumen function and milk production. Animals, (2022). 12, 523. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12040523, McAuliffe, S., Mee, J.F., Lewis, E., Galvin, N. and Hennessy, D.

Infectious diseases

Johne’s disease:

Characteristics (sensitivity and specificity) of herd-level diagnostic tests for Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in cattle — A systematic review. The Veterinary Journal,  (2022) 279: 105786, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2022.105786,  Field, N.L., Mee, J.F. and McAloon, C.G.


Sensitivity, specificity and predictive probability values of serum agglutination test titres for the diagnosis of Salmonella Dublin culture-positive bovine abortion and stillbirth. Transboundary & Emerging Diseases. (2017), DOI: 10/1111/tbed.12784, p. 1-11. Sánchez-Miguel, C, Crilly, J., Grant, J. and Mee, J.F.

Neosporosis & Leptospirosis:

Are we misdiagnosing many Neospora and Leptospira-positive bovine aborted and stillborn foetuses using fetal serology? Reproduction in Domestic Animals (2016), 51(S2): 116, Mee. J.F., Sanchez-Miguel, C, Nosov, M. and Gilmore, J.

Mycoplasma bovis:

Invited plenary: Mycoplasma bovis – clinical perspectives from endemically infected countries; Australia and Ireland.  In: Proceedings of the 36th World (Virtual) Veterinary Association Congress, (2020), Auckland, New Zealand, 5-7th April, p. Mee, J.F., House, J. and McAloon, C.

External Parasites:

Comparisons of Ixodes Ricinus populations in adjacent habitats on a pasture-based dairy farm. In: Proceedings of the 27th Conference of the World Association for Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology, (2019), 7-11 July, Madison, USA, p. 181-182. Zaid, T., Brosnan, S., Schmidt, O., Newton, J., Browne, J., Dubourdieu, T., Gray, J., O’Connor, J., Mee, J.F. and Zintl, A. 

Internal Parasites:

Controlling nematodes in dairy calves using targeted selective treatments. Veterinary Parasitology (2015), 209, 221-228, O’Shaughnessy, J., Earley, B., Mee, J.F., Doherty, M., Crosson, P., Barrett, D., and de Waal, T.


Pathogenicity and teratogenicity of Schmallenberg virus and Akbane virus in experimentally infected chicken embryos.  Veterinary Microbiology, (2018), 216: 31-37, Collins, Á. B., Mee, J.F. and Kirkland, D.


Economic analysis of biosecurity adoption in dairy farming: evidence from Ireland. Journal of Animal Science, (2022), 100, 1–10 https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skac21, Osawe, O.W. Läpple, D. and Mee, J.F.


Cattle vaccination information leaflet for Irish farmers, advisors and vets. AHI Biosecurity Leaflet Series, (2019), p. 1-9. Mee, J.F., Citer, L., Conroy, S., Cowley, B., Kirwan, P., McAloon, C., Moriarty, J., O’Grady, L., Ramsbottom, G., Ryan, E. and Sexton, M.

Reproductive Physiology and Performance

Declining fertility:
Invited plenary: Reversing dairy cow reproductive decline. In: Proceedings of the 36th World (Virtual) Veterinary Association Congress, (2020), Auckland, New Zealand, 5-7th April, p. Mee, J.F.

Reproductive disorders:
Risk factors for reproductive disorders (metritis, endometritis, cystic ovaries, anovulation, low conception rate, embryonic mortality) in dairy cows. Cattle Practice, (2014), 22: 42-53, Mee, J.F.

Management systems:
Reproductive issues arising from different management systems in the dairy industry. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, (2012) 47: 42-50,
Mee, J.F.

Hormonal protocols:
Invited plenary: Heat detection or hormonal intervention in dairy cows - which should vets advise? In: Proceedings of the XX International Congress of AEMV-UTAD, (2017), 14th & 15th Oct, Villa Real, Portugal, p. 1-3, Mee, J.F.

Heifer reproduction:
The effect of growth rate on reproductive outcomes in replacement dairy heifers in seasonally calving, pasture-based systems, Journal of Dairy Science, (2019) 102: 5599-5611, Hayes C.J., McAloon, C, Carty, C, Ryan, E, Mee, J.F. and O’Grady, L.

Invited, international, oral conference & workshop presentations (2013-2023)

American Dairy Science Association Annual Conference: Kansas City, USA (2022)

World Buiatrics Congresses (WBC): Madrid, Spain (2022), Sapporo, Japan (2018),  Dublin   (2016), Cairns, Australia (2014), (all plenary keynotes)

World Veterinary Association Conferences (WVAC): Auckland, New Zealand, (2020), Prague, Czech Republic (2013)

European Association for Animal Production: On-line (2023)

European Buiatrics Forum: Bilbao, Spain (2017)

European Society of Domestic Animal Reproduction (ESDAR) Annual Conferences:  Saint Petersburg, Russia, (2019), Bern, Switzerland, (2017), Lisbon, Portugal, (2016), Helsinki, Finland, (2014)

European Symposium on Animal Reproduction: Nantes France (2023)

Middle European Buiatrics Congress (MEBC):  Brno, Czech Republic (2022), Ostlyn, Poland (2021)

European Veterinary Surveillance Network (EVSN): Backweston, (2014, 2015)

Aeicbas Biomedical Congress: Porto, Portugal, (2015)

AEMV-UTAD International Lecture Series: Vila Real, Portugal, (2017)

Anembe Congreso Internacional  de Medicina Bovina: Santiago de  Sevilla, (2029), Santiago de Compostela, (2016), Spain

BovINE Network Europe AH&W Conference: On-line (2021)

Bulgarian Buiatrics Association Cattle Seminar: Pravets, Bulgaria (2019)

British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) Annual Conferences: Southport, (2015), (awarded best oral presentation prize); Hinckley, (2014).

Cattle Association of Veterinary Ireland (CAVI) Annual Conferences: Cork, (2017, 2022, 2023), Mullingar, (2015)

Congress on Controversies & Consensus, in Bovine Health, Industry &  Economics (CoBo), Berlin, Germany, (2015)

Congreso Internacional de Medicos Veterinarios Zooteenistas Especialistas en Bovinos de la Comarca Lagunera: Coahuila, Mexico, (2013)

Dairy-Beef Calf Health Seminars, IRTA: On-line (2022)

Dairy Event Conferences: Bremen, Munich, Germany (2022)

Dairy Research Communication and Extension Event: Guelph, Canada, (2013)

Diploma in Bovine Reproduction, University of Liverpool, UK, (2022, 2020, 2018, 2016, 2014)

Dyrlaeger & Ko, Veterinary Practitioner Calf Health CPD Meeting, (2019), Hovborg Kro, Denmark.

Dutch Calf Health Symposium: Apeldoon, The Netherlands, (2018)

Healthy Calf Conferences: Ontario, Canada, (2016)

International Congresses of the Hungarian Association for Buiatrics: Eger (2022), Budapest, (2015), Hungary

International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals. (2019), Bern, Switzerland,

International Farm Animal Congress of XLVets:  Cork, (2013)

International Ruminant Reproduction Symposium: Galway (2023)

Iranian National Stillbirth & Neonatal Mortality in Dairy Cows Conference: On-line (2021)

Italian Buiatrics Association Annual Conference: Cremona (2023), Bologna, (2018), Italy

Jornadas Internacionales sobre Medicina Reprodcutiva Bovina, (2019), Valencia, Spain

Jornadas da Associaco Portuguesa de Buiatria: Ilhavo, (2013), Portugal

Konferencja Weterynaryjna, Uniwersytet Warminsko-Mazurski w Olstynie: Lichen, Poland (2018), Ciechanowiec, Poland, (2014),

Nottingham Cattle Fertility  Annual Conference: Nottingham, UK, (2013)

Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners Conference, (2019),  Guelph, Canada

Polish Academy of Sciences Seminar on Welfare in  Farm Animals: Magdalenka, Poland (2016)

PPP-Symposia: Zurich, Switzerland, (2014)

Polskiego Towarzystwa Nauk Weterynaryjnych: On-line (2021)

Progeo Societa Cooperativa Agricola Seminar on Calf Health (2019), Reggio Emilia, Italy

SAC Veterinary Practitioner CPD Events: Dumfries, St Boswells, Perth and Aberdeen, Scotland (2015)

SAC VIO Harmonisation Symposia: Perth, Scotland, (2015)

Societa Italiana Buiatria Calf Health Workshop: Bologna, Italy (2019)

South Western Ontario Annual Dairy Symposium: Woodstock, Canada, (2013)

Studienamiddag: Veepeiler Rund: Ghent University, Belgium, (2016)

Turkish International Herd Health & Management Conference: Antalya, Turkey (2018)

Turkish International Sheep & Goat Health Conference:  Marmais, Turkey (2023), Kyrenia-Cyprus (2019)

University of Nottingham Annual Feed Conference: Nottingham, UK, (2013)

VET Trust Annual Conferences: Stirling, Scotland, (2015)

WAFL-Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group Level: Cork, (2021)

Wroclaw University Annual Conferences on Cow and Calf Health: Wroclaw, Poland, (2013-2023)


Offered, oral and poster presentations at national & international conferences & workshops (2013-2023):


World Association for Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Annual Conference

World Buiatrics Congresses

World Veterinary Association Conference

International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants

International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals

International Congress on Animal Reproduction

International Congress of the Hungarian Association for Buiatrics

International Dairy Federation International Symposium on Minerals & Dairy Products

International Farm Management Association Annual Congress

International Society for Animal Ethology Annual Conference

International Stillbirth Alliance Annual Conference

International Symposium on Advances in Milking

International Symposium on Animal Functional Genomics

International Workshop on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group Level

European Association for Animal Production

European Buiatrics Forum

European Conference on Precision Agriculture

European Congress on Bovine Health Management

European Congress on Precision Livestock Farming

European Grassland Federation Annual Conference

European Society of Domestic Animal Reproduction

European Society of Veterinary Entomology Annual Congress

European Veterinary Parasitology  Annual Conference

European Veterinary Surveillance Network  Annual Conference

Agricultural Research Forum

All-Island State Veterinarian’s  Annual Conference

American Association of Bovine Practitioners

Anembe Congreso Internacional  de Medicina Bovina

Animal Health Ireland Annual Conferences

Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group Level

Association for Veterinary Teachers and Research Workers Ireland & UK

Australian Association for Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians

British Cattle Veterinary Association

British Society of Animal Science

Cattle Association of Veterinary Ireland

Congress on Controversies & Consensus, in Bovine Health, Industry &  Economics

Irish Grassland Association Annual Conference

Irish Society for Veterinary Parasitology Annual Conference

Jornadas da Associaco Portuguesa de Buiatria

Mid-Western Veterinary Clinical Society

Middle European Buiatrics Congress

Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

Mentoring postgraduate students:

Siobhan O’Donovan, B.AgSci, Biosecurity status of Irish dairy farms - assessment and intervention(PhD, University College Dublin)

John Donlon, MRCVS - Associations between dairy calf housing environmental variables and prevalence of calf respiratory disease, (PhD, University College Dublin)

Niamh Field, MRCVS - Comparison of environmental sampling to conventional testing methods for the detection of herds infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis, (PhD, University College Dublin)

Dwayne Shields, BAgSci - Ewe and lamb behaviour and lamb mortality during the periparturient period – effects of genotype and management, (PhD, co-supervised with Tim Keady)

Ciara Hayes, MRCVS -  Bovine abortion: risk factors, pathogens and diagnostics (PhD, University College Dublin)

John Gilmore, MRCVS - Ticks and Tick-borne Pathogens in Sheep (PhD, University College Dublin)

Colin Grimes, B.Sc -  Coccidiosis in dairy calves - management practices and novel diagnostics (MSc, University College Dublin)

David Krol, DVM - Role of infectious agents in stillbirths in Polish dairy herds, (PhD, Wroclaw University of Life Sciences, Poland)

Sebastian Umaña Sedó, DVMS - Peri- and pre-weaning calf mortality on Canadian dairy farms (DVS, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada)


John also mentors undergraduate veterinary students from the School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD as part of their CEMS.

Lecturing under- and post-graduate students:

Module Leader & Lecturer on the Bachelor in Dairy Business Degree (School of Agriculture, UCD)

Module Leader & Lecturer on the Bachelor in Agricultural Science Degree (Dairy Science Department, UCC)

Lecturer on the Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management course (School of Agriculture, UCD)

Invited lecturer on the Bachelor in Veterinary Medicine Degree course (School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD)

Invited lecturer on the Bachelor in Agricultural Science Degree course South East Technological University (SETU)

Invited lecturer on the Postgraduate Certificate in Dairy Herd Health (School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD)

Invited lecturer/Demonstrator on the Postgraduate Diploma in Bovine Reproduction (Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, UK).

Invited lecturer/Demonstrator on the Postgraduate Diploma in Pathophysiology of Reproduction of Domestic Animals (Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production,
University of Naples “Federico II", Italy)

Invited lecturer on the Certificate in Ruminant Nutrition Course, QQI Fetac Level 6. (Teagasc, Moorepark Research Centre)