Conference proceedings article
System approach to improve animal health



Publication Details
Authors:
Sundrum, A.; Dietze, K.; Werner, C.
Editor:
Zollitsch, Werner; Winckler, C.; Waiblinger, S.; Halsberger, A.
Publisher:
Wageningen Academic Publishers
Place:
Wageningen
Publication year:
2007
Pages range:
360-364
Book title:
Sustainable food production and ethics

Abstract
A high level of animal health is demanded by an increasing number of consumers and expected to be realised especially from organic livestock farming. Furthermore, animal health can be used as an indicator for sustainability within the farm system. In a current study on 20 organic sow herds, conducted to assess the effects of the implementation of animal health plans, constraints which limit the possibilities of appropriate diagnosis, treatment and preventive measures are evaluated. Previous results show a high variability with regard to the prevalence of production diseases,the availability of relevant resources like labour time or investments, the perception of diseases by farmers, and the expertise and management skills to deal with diseases. In order think through the complexity of production diseases it is reasonable to grasp the farm as an ecosystem and to define animal health as an emergent property of a farm system. While the inductive approach has failed to provide valid information to identify the main causes of multi-factorial diseases, a deductive approach is recommended. Within the system approach, animal health precaution plans can be developed as a suitable frame for feedback mechanisms within the farm system. The use of feedback mechanisms, however, requires a clear guideline concerning the expected output of the system. Consequently, there is a need for a change in the paradigm from a standard-oriented to an output-oriented approach.

Last updated on 2019-25-07 at 19:53

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