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PraeRi – Animal Health, Hygiene and Biosecurity in German dairy farms - a prevalence study

PraeRi is a government-funded (by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture) joint research project of the veterinary faculties from the Freie Universität Berlin, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, and the University of Veterinary Medicine Foundation Hannover. The objective of this cross-sectional study is a representative description of the status quo of dairy cattle health and its influencing factors on German dairy farms. For this purpose data regarding health status of dairy cattle and their offspring, housing conditions, nutrition, and management will be collected from 750 dairy farms across Germany.

The study takes place in Eastern Germany (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia), Northern Germany (Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein), and Southern Germany (Bavaria). Participation is voluntary and free of charge. Dairy farms are eligible for participation if they receive an invitation by mail after being randomly selected from the overall dairy cattle farms in respective regions.

Participating farms are visited by a team of experienced veterinarians and benefit from a comprehensive status analysis including the examination of dairy cattle, heifers and calves, assessment of the husbandry conditions and biosecurity interventions as well as analyses of feed (e.g. chemical and microbiological analyses) and feed rations. Participants receive an individual report with non-binding recommendations for the purpose of identification of unused resources and improving animal health, management and economic efficacy.

Based on the anonymized data and results from all participating dairy farms recommendations for action will be developed that are specific for the current animal health situation on German dairy farms and can greatly assist all occupational groups of the dairy industry.

For further information please check www.PraeRi.de