Animal Health Sensing and Surveillance: Early Disease Detection for Food Supply and Public Health Protection

Grants and Contracts Details


The marketability and value of food animal products is directly related to the level of success that farmers, veterinarians, state and federal officials have in maintaining the health of their herds. Currently, farmers raising food animals are totally reliant on their ability to recognize health problems in their own animals and to call in veterinarians for assistance with clinical problems as needed. In turn, practicing veterinarians utilize veterinary diagnostic laboratories to help in obtaining a diagnosis on clinical cases seen in the field. Unfortunately, these individual animal health events and diagnoses are not shared with other farms in the same locale. Therefore, farmers do not reap the benefits of medical situational awareness which could help them to anticipate impending animal health risks and to take preventive action (e.g. vaccination, prophylaxis) in their own herds. The fusion of farm-level animal health events (e.g. temperature monitoring, head motion, syndromic event reports) with location data and diagnostic laboratory data streams would provide a mechanism for improving medical situational awareness in a focused locale, state or collection of states. The purpose of this project is to build an animal health medical awareness system that can demonstrate proof-of-concept of such a network. We will develop and test components at each level of this system. This testing will involve the evaluation of health monitoring devices which will provide near-real time monitoring of animal health under field conditions, the design and implementation of software to interpret the data streams from these devices, statistical and data management strategies to compile animal health information from a variety of input sources, and the design and implementation of an integrated animal health data repository and reporting system. Thus, the complete system will provide meaningful information to a variety of stakeholders, from individual farm operators to state and national animal health care officials. Because of the breadth of information that will become available, this system will enhance the operational efficiency of livestock production and will simultaneously improve our ability to detect and respond to disease threats at regional and national levels.
Effective start/end date3/9/091/8/13


  • National Institute for Hometown Security: $906,841.00


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