March 16, 2016


US universities to conduct beef cattle joint research



Beef cattle researchers from Kansas State University and Texas Tech University in the US are seeking feedlots to participate in a feedlot cattle production and health research study.


The collaborative research group includes faculty from Kansas State University's animal sciences and industry department and the College of Veterinary Medicine. They will work with researchers from Texas Tech's animal and food sciences department.


The group will focus on two areas of cattle feeding: starting cattle on feed and associated risks with bovine respiratory disease and the end of the feeding period focused on performance, carcass quality, fatigued cattle syndrome, heat stress, acute interstitial pneumonia, liver abscesses, cattle transport and others, said Dan Thomson, a member of the collaborative research group and a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University.


Starting in May, the research group will work with feedlots participating in the study to better understand risks associated with acute interstitial pneumonia, known as AIP, and liver abscesses. A parallel study involves interested feedlots to participate in advanced necropsy training for their feedlot employees in coordination with their consulting veterinarian better understanding acute interstitial pneumonia lesions by sending samples from necropsied cattle to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Kansas State University.


"AIP cases and liver abscesses are economically crippling issues in our cattle feeding operations," Thomson said. "These surveys are important to help us understand risk associated with geography, cattle type, facility design, animal health programmes, nutrition programmes and weather."


The collaborative beef group was formed to leverage resources to serve common beef producer and veterinary stakeholders in Kansas and Texas through research that will provide solutions for beef cattle health and production issues like acute interstitial pneumonia in cattle.


"AIP is a recurring and frustrating problem for feedlots," said Guy Loneragan, professor at Texas Tech and a collaborator on team. "It typically affects those animals in their prime close to slaughter. AIP needs a solution, and we hope to provide that for the industry and this survey is an important part of that process."


The AIP/liver abscess survey consists of 64 questions.


Feedlots that participate will be anonymous.


Kansas State University graduate students from this beef research collaboration will set up an appointment and visit the feedlot to help facilitate or clarify questions.


"We have conducted studies of this style in the past for lameness, veterinary recommendations for bovine respiratory disease management and feedlot facility design," Thomson said. "Past surveys were conducted over the Internet. However, to make sure we get everybody on the same page pertaining to animal health descriptive questions, we would like to have a person on the ground working with the general, cattle or office manager. It will help us get a better answer for the industry."

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