Journal article

Using farmer observations for animal health syndromic surveillance: Participation and performance of an online enhanced passive surveillance system

Caitlin Pfeiffer, Mark Stevenson, Simon Firestone, John Larsen, Angus Campbell



The challenge of animal health surveillance is to provide the information necessary to appropriately inform disease prevention and control activities within the constraints of available resources. Syndromic surveillance of farmers' disease observations can improve animal health data capture from extensive livestock farming systems, especially where data are not otherwise being systematically collected or when data on confirmed aetiological diagnoses are unavailable at the disease level. As it is rarely feasible to recruit a truly random sample of farmers to provide observational reports, directing farmer sampling to align with the surveillance objectives is a reasonable and practical approac..

View full abstract


Funding Acknowledgements

The contributions of the 39 participating farms are gratefully acknowledged. The LANDI project is funded by the Victorian Sheep and Goat Compensation Fund and the Victorian Cattle Compensation Fund, administered by Agriculture Victoria. We are grateful to the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP), the Mackinnon Trust, and Meat and Livestock Australia for the financial support of the PhD scholarship of the first author. These funding sources had no input in the design or conduct of the study, or in the preparation and submission of this manuscript.