KoeData: insight into animal health

KoeData provides insight into the animal health at the dairy farm and with this the risk of the presence of cows needing extra attention based on objective data every quarter of the year. This is based on the EU Hygiene Regulation 853 which states that the dairy farmer is responsible for supplying milk coming from healthy cows.

Each quarter, the development of 11 aspects is tested by means of indicators that are decisive for animal health. The data of dairy farms are automatically collected from certified sources of various authorities in the Netherlands. Then indicators are calculated for each farm and compared with national average values. In this way, every dairy farmer is given insight into the development of the animal health at his/her farm based on objective data. With this causes of deterioration of the animal health can be timely identified and measures for improvement can be taken, if necessary. By applying a certain formula, the 11 indicators result in a total score, the KoeData score, and an animal health status A, B or C.

Monitoring of 11 aspects

The aspects for which the animal health is assessed are cattle mortality, calf mortality, new udder infections, tank milk cell count, decrease of farm standard cows, closed operational management, leptospirosis, BVD, IBR, Johne’s disease and salmonella. The indicators, standards and points, given in the table on the previous page, will be applicable in KoeData as from 1 January 2020. The table also mentions which organisation the data come from.

KoeData key figures

(1) The first dead cow of every 12 months (progressing) is not included in the calculation of the KoeData score.
(2) Also possible on the basis of supply pattern.

Animal health status

The KoeData score of a dairy farm results in an animal health status A, B or C.

Status A

When a dairy farm scores 70 points or more (the average of the last four quarters), it is given status A: the livestock is healthy. At a status A dairy farm a physical inspection will be held once a year: KoeAlert. This will be carried out by a qualified veterinarian. Additionally, a KoeKompas will annually be drawn up including a report from a veterinarian trained for this. This report can assure compliance with the statutory requirement of the Farm Health Plan.

Status B

When a dairy farm scores 60 – 69 points (the average of the last four quarters) or below 50 points in the last quarter, it is given status B: there are indications that the animal health needs extra attention. There may be an increased risk of cows needing extra attention. Apart from the annual KoeAlert and KoeKompas, as with score A, the dairy company advises the dairy farmer in case of a status B to consult the veterinarian in order to assess the animal health together and to take measures, if necessary.

Status C

When a dairy farm scores below 60 points (the average of the last four quarters), it is given status C: the animal health is below standard and needs improvement. There is an increased risk of the presence of cows needing extra attention. Apart from the annual KoeAlert and KoeKompas, as with score A, an extra KoeAlert inspection will take place at a status C farm because of the increased chance of the presence of cows needing extra attention. Besides, the dairy company forces the dairy farmer to have a signal-controlled farm visit carried out. This means that the one-on-one veterinarian (or the replacement assured cattle veterinarian) assessed the animal health at the dairy farm. The most recently performed KoeKompas will be evaluated and, if necessary, supplemented with recommendations to improve the animal health (form Signal-controlled farm visit). With four times status C the farm will become a so-called farm needing extra attention and an action plan will be set up by the one-on-one veterinarian and the dairy company.