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SWAB: Surveillance Welfare and Biosecurity of farmed animals

Overview

The Surveillance Welfare and Biosecurity of farmed animals (SWAB) project involves transdisciplinary actors - scientists, industry, farmers and veterinarians - to develop novel solutions for some of the key issues regarding animal health, welfare and biosecurity in the Irish agriculture. The SWAB project addressed major current and emerging animal health and welfare problems in the Irish agricultural industry. This was achieved through a genuinely interdisciplinary programme that responded to three related research topics: factors influencing utilisation of DAFM animal health surveillance and diagnostic services; multi-stakeholder perspectives and behaviours impacting on animal welfare; and quantification of the benefits of farm-level biosecurity practices.

The project used a carefully selected range of expertise from the disciplines of sociology, psychology, economics, veterinary medicine, animal welfare and epidemiology. This project used participatory action research methods involving all stakeholders (farmers, practicing veterinarians, industry, animal health professionals, consumers, other actors) to create policy/veterinary/extension tools that put into practice and create direct impact of research findings generated by the project in operational settings.

Co-designed Tools

Animated video targeting farmer engagement with animal health surveillance and diagnostic services.

Looking After Cows on Irish Dairy Farms’ - Animated whiteboard video empowering the general public with information about what good welfare practices look like on Irish dairy farms.

Good Practice for Dairy Cow Welfare (pdf) - Infographic to demonstrate current good practices that support the welfare of dairy cows.

Good Practice for Dairy Calf Welfare (pdf) - Infographic to demonstrate current good practices that support the welfare of dairy calves.

Facilitation Method for Antimicrobial and Anthelminthic Resistance (pdf) – Interactive pack for supporting facilitation related to antimicrobial and anthelminthic resistance

A biosecurity scoring tool for Irish dairy farmers (pdf)

A milk yield based syndromic surveillance system for Irish dairy cattle (pdf)

SWAB Research Outputs

Project Partners

Teagasc

  • Áine Macken-Walsh, Rural Economy & Development Programme, Mellows Campus, Athenry
  • Áine Regan, Rural Economy & Development Programme, Mellows Campus, Athenry

University College Dublin

  • Conor McAloon, School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD, Dublin
  • Alison Hanlon, School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD, Dublin

National University College of Ireland, Galway

  • Doris Laepple, School of Business and Economics, NUIG, Galway

Funding

The Surveillance Welfare and Biosecurity of farmed animals (SWAB) project has been funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Ireland under the Research Stimulus Fund (Project no: RSF 17/S/230).