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VEERU is currently undertaking, or has recently completed, the following research  activities:

A series of studies documenting the range in current herd performance of UK commercial dairy herds of different breeds. Using milk recording data from National Milk Records (NMR) these studies describe a series of key performance indicators, based on 12 month rolling means, covering aspects of fertility, production and health. Large samples of herds were selected from the total herds that record with NMR. Only herds recording on a monthly basis with assisted recording were included. The Holstein/Friesian study used a representative sample of 500 herds from the total available herds.

1. Holstein Friesian herds: The performance across 500 herds for the year ending 30/9/2011

2. Holstein Friesian herds: The performance across 500 herds for the year ending 30/9/2010
3. Jersey herds: The performance across 83 Jersey herds for the year ending 31/12/2010
4. Guernsey herds: The performance across 33 Guernsey herds for the year ending 31/12/2010
5. Ayrshire herds: The performance across 47 Ayrshire herds for the year ending 31/12/2010

It is intended to repeat these analyses on an annual basis to provide an indication of trends in the industry.

James Hanks


A comprehensive descriptive history of Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) in England since 1980. Complied from information on a wide range of factors that could be important in the epidemiology of the disease directly from those involved in the field (farmers, veterinary surgeons, agricultural advisors etc.) in order to capture experience-based knowledge that may contribute to a better understanding of the outbreak and possible risk factors.

  Tony Wilsmore, Martin Upton, Nick Taylor & Keith Allison


A report of the potential effects on businesses, horses and horse owners in the event of an outbreak of African Horse Sickness (AHS) in the UK. Commissioned by the Government / Industry AHS Working Group, providing supporting information for a Statutory Impact Assessment (SIA) of proposed AHS control legislation, laid out in EC Council Directive 92/35/EEC, which the UK is required to provide as part of the public consultation process.

Tony Wilsmore, Martin Upton, Nick Taylor & Keith Allison


Wellcome Trust funded project on community-directed brucellosis control by small-scale dairy farmers in Zimbabwe. This project will enable dairy cooperatives to develop and implement action plans for their selected brucella prevention strategies

Pamela Woods


DEFRA funded project on epidemiological survey of prevalence and risk factors of fluoroquinolone resistance on pig and poultry farms in England and Wales.

  Nick Taylor


DEFRA funded project on qualitative veterinary risk assessment of the introduction of rabies into the United Kingdom

Tony Wilsmore & Nick Taylor 


DEFRA funded review of the role of badgers in bovine tuberculosis

Tony Wilsmore & Nick Taylor


Image:Leptospira scanning micrograph.jpg

Study of the epidemiology of leptospirosis and other zoonotic diseases in cattle in Tanzania and their relative risk to public health.  This study has been conducted and self financed by Luuk Schoonman, supervised by Tony Wilsmore and Nick Taylor

  Summary of thesis


Photo of a Foot and Mouth disinfecting point sign

Together with Scottish Agricultural College and Royal Veterinary College, a Defra funded study on “An integrated approach to biosecurity on UK cattle and sheep farms; evaluating existing measures for endemic diseases against exotic threats”. 

Nick Taylor




Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

Analysis of data relating to the mass vaccination campaigns for HPAI in Vietnam – FAO funded

Nick Taylor

Analysis of data relating to the Participatory Disease Surveillance/Response programme for  HPAI in Indonesia – FAO funded

Nick Taylor



Foot and mouth disease (FMD)

DEFRA funded project on modelling economic effects of different FMD control strategies which involved management of multidisciplinary teams from England, Scotland and Wales

Tony Wilsmore, Martin Upton, Nick Taylor & Pamela Woods

DEFRA funded review of the use of mathematical modelling in disease control policy formulation, with special reference to the UK FMD epidemic of 2001

Nick Taylor


Continuing technical support to the Epidemiology Unit (North Region) of the UK State Veterinary Service working on detailed analysis of field data from the foot and mouth disease epidemic, UK

Nick Taylor



VEERU was the academic partner for two projects under the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) and its predecessor the Teaching Companies Scheme (TCS). Both projects involved the development of appropriate information systems that facilitate dairy farmers and veterinarians benchmarking and monitoring performance of their dairy herds. The industrial partners were PAN Livestock Services Limited  and National Milk Records. As a consequence of these activities there has been a dramatic and sustained increase in the routine use of milk recording information by both farmers and veterinarians in the UK.

James Hanks


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