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Health Monitoring System for cattle

To satisfy the needs of cattle breeders in the future, in August 2006 the ZAR initiated a health monitoring project for cattle. Cooperation between cattle breeders, the performance tests, veterinary doctors, science, the associations representing the breeders, animal health services and the support of the Federal Ministries allows the recording of the diagnoses made by vets at the farms taking part and the development and performance of management reports and a merit index estimation for health characteristics.

Control farms can participate in this free of charge
which gives the farm managers a continuous overview of the health status of their own herds. These reports are made available to the farmers taking part either once per year or following each performance evaluation in
the form of an „annual report on animal health“ and upon request, with the
agreement of the farmer, these are equally made available to the competent veterinary doctors. Thus health breeding values have been published for the Simmental breed since December 2010 and for the Braunvieh breed since August 2013 with regard to mastitis, early fertility problems, cysts and milk fever in the course of the joint merit index estimation for Austria-Germany. Since August 2013, the health breeding values are taken into consideration in the overall merit index concerning the fertility value and the udder health value. The project became a routine procedure in 2010. The TGD programme of health monitoring was able to
establish itself successfully within the framework of animal health services. We are working on improvements to our data recording and further research questions. With regard to the optimisation of herd management, farmers have had their own health module available to them in the cattle
data cluster (Rinderdatenverbund) since 2013. Work continues on a similar application for vets. A goal in the breeding sector is to make genomic health merit indexes equally available to candidates in the future.