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Survey will help researchers develop quality-of-life tool

Survey will help researchers develop quality-of-life tool

Quality Of Life Survey For Calves With Respiratory Disease

2 years ago

5th January, 2021 10h31


With respiratory disease a common issue on farms in winter, views are being sought from industry on methods to measure the quality of life in cattle, particularly calves.

Not only can respiratory disease affect the functioning of the animal, but it also has a major impact on its quality of life, or the psychological experience of life.

Health-related quality-of-life tools (HRQoL) have been developed for other species to capture how the disease ‘feels’ to the animal.

Now a team at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is involved in a project which is developing a similar tool to assess the quality of life of calves with bovine respiratory disease (BRD). 

In order to determine which indicators to include, they are conducting a survey of beef and dairy farmers, together with calf rearing units, consultants and vets.

The researchers said a quality-of-life tool would be a major advancement in detecting disease and would ultimately lead to better treatments, care and outcomes for calves.

David Bell said: “At this time of year, respiratory disease can be an issue on farms.

“While there are a number of clinical methods to assess respiratory disease, to be able to fully understand the impact of disease on the animal, a method for measuring quality of life is needed.

“We are conducting a short survey to gauge how useful and valid specific indicators are in the assessment of quality of life. Participating in this and giving your opinion will help us establish what is useful for assessing the overall well-being of calves with respiratory disease.”

Responses to the survey, which closes on 25 January, will be anonymous.

To complete the survey visit:

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