Full Title:Herd Health and Biosecurity
Module Code:AGRI S8008
Credits: 5
Valid From:Semester 1 - 2013/14 ( September 2013 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Description:The module applies the principles of on-farm biosecurity to various farm enterprises and identifies specific disease problems within a herd with view to the development of a comprehensive Herd Health Plan.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to
  1. Discuss the epidemiology & clinical effects of infectious conditions that are endemic within the Irish national herd and exotic diseases that pose a significant threat to the Irish farming industry.
  2. Interpret the relevant laboratory and on-farm tests used to identify infected animals.
  3. Apply the principles involved in designing, implementing & evaluating a disease control or eradication programme on farms.
  4. Identify causes of infertility, mastitis and other significant production problems within a herd and implement optimal and sustainable management practices in order to decrease their incidence.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
• Immunity – active and passive • Infectious agents and their methods of replication, infection and spread. • The main biosecurity measures needed on farms including the concept of a “closed herd” • The concepts of doughtful, false positives, false negatives and empty test results. • The interpretation of laboratory tests and evaluation of the disease incidence or trends over time. • Principles of identification and isolation of cohort groups of animals with clinical infection or as subclinical carriers. • Methods of disinfection and isolation. • Animal husbandry & welfare best practices
Animal Diseases and Metabolic Disorders
Principles of pathogenesis & disease spread. Zoonotic conditions and their public health significance. Clinical signs and pathogenesis of farm animal diseases with emphasis on those endemic in the Irish national herd – TB, Brucellosis, leptospirosis, listeriosis, IBR, BVD, BVD eradication system 2013, mastitis, Johne’s disease, cryptosporidiosis. Introduction to exotic diseases that pose a risk to the Irish farming industry, such as Bluetongue, Foot & Mouth, Rinderpest and Schmallanberg.
Herd Health Management
Herd Health Plans and their implementation. Analysis of herd health records to identify problems and set production and health targets. Identification and management of key risk factors for disease and herd health problems. Design and implementation of a disease control or eradication programme, including the 2013 compulsory BVD eradication scheme via ear notch and blood samples. Evaluation of the efficacy of an implemented disease programme and modification of the programme based on the results. Stakeholder and team based approach to disease management and eradication. Recognition and management of herd infertility problems. Prevention and control of metabolic disorders such as grass tetany, milk fever, bloat, acidosis etc. by proper and adequate nutrition. Health management in an organic livestock system: nutrition, homeopathic and naturopathic treatments.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work50.00%
End of Module Formal Examination50.00%

Full Time

Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Other Prepare a Biosecurity Plan for a herd on your own farm (or a farm you are familiar with) 3 50.00 0 0 Week 11 0
No Project
No Practical
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Formal Exam End-of-Semester Final Examination 1,2,4 50.00 0 0 End-of-Semester 0
Reassessment Requirement
A repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload & Resources

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture No Description 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Directed Reading No Description 2.00 Every Week 2.00
Independent Study No Description 4.00 Every Week 4.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 9.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 3.00
This course has no Part Time workload.
Recommended Book Resources
  • Divers, T. 2007, Reubeun's Diseases of Dairy Cattle, 2nd Ed., Saunders, W.B.
  • Rollin, B 2003, Farm Animal Welfare, 1st Ed., Blackwell
  • Radostits, O.M., Blood, D.C 2001, Herd Health: Food Animal Production Medicine, 2nd Ed., Saunders, W.B. [ISBN: 978-0721676944]
  • Boden, E 2007, Blacks Student Veterinary Dictionary, A & C Black Publishers [ISBN: 978-0911910933]
  • Merck 2010, The Merck Veterinary Manual, 10th Ed., Merck Manuals [ISBN: 978-0911910933]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • BBlowey, R.W. 2007, Cattle Lameness and Hoofecare, 2nd Ed., Old Pond Publishing [ISBN: 978-1905523283]
  • Blowey, R. 1995, Mastitis Control in Dairy Herds, 1st Ed., Old Pond
  • Blowey, R. 1999, The Veterinary Book for Dairy Farmers, 3rd. Ed., Old Pond
This module does not have any article/paper resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
DK_SAGRI_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Agriculture 7 Mandatory
DK_SSUAG _8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Agriculture 1 Mandatory