This project originated from concerns over mortalities in cattle exported from Australia to the Middle East that had been attributed to respiratory disease. This project was based on a collaborative and innovative approach involving a total of 194,216 cattle over twenty voyages. During the study, 50% of deaths were caused by bovine respiratory disease (BRD), 15% by musculoskeletal and injury-related conditions, and the remaining deaths were due to a range of causes. The findings of the study reinforce the importance of performing gross necropsy examination as relying on clinical observations is a highly unreliable basis for diagnosing BRD as a cause of death.
This project studied BRD epidemiology noting the presence of BCoV and the role of exposure to BRD pathogens while in co-mingling environments. The findings of the project also highlight the critical influence of cattle management strategies to decrease the risk of BRD regardless of vaccination status.