Research – University of Copenhagen

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Research

The unique aspect of the competencies of cattle researchers in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen is that we have brought together researchers with background and skills in both animal and veterinary sciences.

Core research disciplines are cattle production, cattle health, herd health and production management, epidemiology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, nutrition, microbiology, parasitology, food safety, genetics and reproduction.

Our research areas range from disease prevention and control on the national and herd level, to herd-oriented research focusing on advisory services, and basic scientific population and molecular methods.

CPH Cattle takes part in the education of future herd health and production advisors and scientists with up-to-date knowledge and competencies on cattle production and health, herd management science, welfare, feed efficiency, and environmental and economic sustainability.

RESEARCH AREAS

CPH Cattle can support improvement and development of the Danish cattle sector by addressing specific research areas.

Welfare

Welfare plays a key role in beef and dairy production. The research at CPH Cattle contributes to the development of feasible and valid methods for welfare assessment and welfare improvement in different production systems. Within the welfare assessment research we investigate the value of routinely collected register data as well as animal based observations, e.g. are we developing a method to identify cows in pain.

Research in the effect of production diseases on welfare is relevant to determine cost-benefit of disease management and preventive strategies. Research in basic needs of sick cattle is a new exciting area with the potential to minimize production losses and to improve the cow’s chances for cure.

Health

Health and diseases are among the strongest research areas within CPH Cattle. Our research covers biosecurity, routes of transmission, and development and assessment of diagnostic methods on individual cow and herd level.

We do research in production diseases like claw disorders, metabolic disorders, mastitis and metritis in cows, and enteritis and respiratory diseases in calves. It is not only the question of how many cows getting sick, but as well which cows. Is it the same cow repeatedly being lame or does lameness affect the cows randomly? These questions need to be addressed to handle and prevent the respective diseases efficiently.

The University of Copenhagen educates the Danish veterinarians, therefore herd health management is a natural part of our research projects.

Sustainable production

CPH Cattle sets focus on different aspects of sustainable cattle production. To minimize the environmental footprint of cattle production we carry out research in methods to assess methane emissions from cows and feeding strategies to improve feed efficiency and methane emissions as well as emissions from production systems.

Another aspect of sustainability is genomic selection and bioinformatics to improve production, feed efficiency, reproduction and health. An important but often neglected part of sustainable production is the farmer’s economy.

Evaluation of the consequences of the above mentioned environmental sustainability improvements on the farmer’s economic sustainability is thus an important part of CPH Cattle’s research.