Practical feedlot epidemiology for veterinarians
Keywords: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.