Teaching and research within the cross-disciplinary subject in the field of veterinary epidemiology focuses on how veterinary medicine can be utilised to prevent disease and other disorders, thereby promoting animal health and human health, welfare and well-being.
The focus of our research is to apply epidemiological methods in order to identify factors in the environment, in the care, and in the animal that affects health, well-being and performance capability in populations of animals. The possibilities for preventive measures and to promote good animal health and welfare therefore benefit from our research. We have a strong interdisciplinary way of working and our ambition is to merge social sciences, including qualitative methods and animal health economics, with population medicine and other medical specialties.
The research is based primarily on available secondary databases, many of which are unique to Sweden, but also on large-scale field studies, which are designed and implemented for specific research projects. Improving the quality and usability of data is a critical part of the research. Therefore, evaluation of existing databases and the work to achieve a correct design of field studies are important components of our research. Research is conducted with several animal species such as dairy cows, horses, pigs, dogs and cats, and is conducted in close collaboration with other departments and teams/groups at Clinical Sciences. Many projects are being carried out in collaboration with external stakeholders such as Gård & Djurhälsan, Växa, DeLaval and SVA.
Examples of research approaches, each with several sub-projects, include:
- Infectious diseases
- Organic production
- Use of antibiotics
- Animal welfare
- Canine health
Several of these are connected to SLU's first priority research area (sustainable and safe food production), and also to the fourth which concern economy.This means that they also relate to the Faculty's target areas: research for the animals' benefit, reduced use of antimicrobial substances, and the creation of long-term sustainable systems for animal production.