Practical feedlot epidemiology for veterinarians


  • Ryan Rademacher Feedlot Health Management Services, A Division of TELUS Agriculture Solutions Inc., P.O. Box 140, Okotoks, Alberta T1S 2A2


feedlot, epidemiology, decision-making


Epidemiology is integral to making informed data-based man­agement decisions in a sustained business or scientific model. The most common uses of applied epidemiology in production medicine include monitoring and surveillance, forecasting, research trials, economic and sensitivity modelling, retrospec­tive analysis and disease investigation. Using epidemiologi­cal tools to understand population level outcomes and disease trends/patterns is of limited value if this acquired knowledge does not ultimately drive actionable decisions to improve on-farm outcomes. Establishing a decision-making process is an important component of veterinarian/producer relationships. Understanding the process by which each decision is made so that the underlying strengths, limitations and implications are known may be as important as the decision itself. These pro­ceedings describe practical application of epidemiologic prin­ciples and examples of decision-making methodologies used to guide sustainable food animal health and production.