Context and Societal Issues

Health context of livestock farms is changing : Societal, technical and economic pressures are combining to demand a reduction in the use of antibiotics, with the EcoAntiBio french national plan being the regulatory translation. Farmers, who are the first to be concerned by these issues, have expressed their desire to change their practices, and many of them have shown an interest in so-called “alternative” methods, and even enrolled in training courses offered by development organizations to acquire knowledge and know-how on these so-called “alternative” methods. However, reducing the use of antibiotics as a curative treatment requires more than substituting one method of treatment for another. It is a matter of activating a number of systemic and preventive levers, in the forefront of which the animal’s diet and its physiological balance are essential. An approach to animal health that relies more explicitly on preventive levers and that aims to avoid the onset of disease rather than fight it once it has appeared, requires that the farmer and his technical environment (advisors, trainers, veterinarians) have the means to evaluate, The goal is to avoid the occurrence of disease rather than to fight it once it has occurred. This requires that the farmer and his technical environment (advisors, trainers, veterinarians) have the means to evaluate, analyze and step back from the farmer’s current or potential health practices, clear information on the health status of the animal and the herd, and simple indicators that allow the effectiveness of the health approach adopted by the farmer to be assessed, particularly if it is based on preventive or “alternative” techniques for which “proof of effectiveness” is difficult to acquire.

Project main objectives

The project is composed of six operational components:

– The first component will work on the implementation of a herd health management approach, allowing a “systemic” approach for the evaluation and adaptation of sanitary practices in the Loire’s livestock farms, in a construction approach shared by a large group representing research, initial and continuing education, technical and veterinary support for farmers, and the producers themselves

– 4 Components will test, validate and disseminate knowledge and levers to modify farmers’ feeding practices in order to optimize the animals’ robustness and prevent the appearance of diseases in the herd

– The last component will be focused on general animation of the actions

URSE involvement:

URSE is involved in component 1 as the pilot of the Ruminant sector. Claire Manoli and Justine Defois are involved in the monitoring of the project, in the collect  and analysis of datas . In this component, there are two main objectives :

  • diagnosis on existing tools and methods for health management monitoring
  • proposition and test of innovative methods ofr health management monitoring

Collect of datas are of several types :

– on-line surveys to collect the opinions of experts and advisers on tools for monitoring animal health and welfare,

– participative and group meetings (focus groups) to collect the views of farmers and their advisers on advisory tools : needs, priorities in animal health management,

– individual qualitative surveys on animal health management in Ruminant and Monogastric farms, with two types of surveys : qualitative surveys on representations and needs of farmers ; qualitative surveys to assess the effect on animal health management of innovative advisory methods.

URSE is also involved in Component 3 :  activities of valorization toward scientific communities and toward professionnals.

Keywords : 

Animal health and welfare / Advisory services/ Animal Health Management/health monitoring tools/ farmer’s practices/ innovative and participative advisory methods

Scientific coordination of this project :

Philippe ROUSSEL, Institut de l’Elevage, :

Contact URSE :

Claire MANOLI,

Other partners  :

Oniris, UMR BIOEPAR UMT santé des Troupeaux bovins

Chambre d’Agriculture des Pays de la Loire


Coordination Agrobiologique des Pays de la Loire (CAB)

ITAVI – Institut Technique de l’Aviculture

SAS Ferme expérimentale porcine des Trinottières

SAS Ferme expérimentale laitière des Trinottières


IFIP-Institut du porc


Ferme expérimentale de Thorigné d’Anjou

Funding (2018-2022)

European funding FEADER and Pays de la Loire region.

Soutien aux groupes opérationnels du PEI pour la productivité agricole et la durabilité – Programme de développement rural régional des Pays de la Loire 2014-2020