Scholarship is awarded for work on better care for new-born calves

University of Waikato PhD student Gemma Lowe has been awarded this year’s $22,000 National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Llewellyn Scholarship to assist her investigation into the use of infrared thermography (IRT) for the early disease detection of neonatal calf diarrhoea (NCD).

The disease typically affects calves during their first month of life and often by the time it is diagnosed based on clinical signs, a substantial amount of damage has already occurred to an animal’s intestines. In severe cases it is often too late to save the affected animal.

IRT is a non-invasive method of detecting radiated heat and so through assessing the thermal responses of different anatomical regions in the calves in response to disease,

Gemma will be investigating the suitability of IRT as a non-invasive, automated method for early disease detection. She says a system like this would enable diseased animals to be isolated to prevent NCD spread, and enable earlier treatment sooner than is currently possible based on clinical signs.

Source: Waikato University

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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