While Switzerland is free from most (highly contagious) infectious diseases in farm animals due to intensive control and monitoring activities, the incidence of production diseases has hardly decreased, despite intensive efforts. At the same time, there is a growing risk of transfer of pathogens by international trade as well as from reservoirs outside the farms, such as wildlife species. To tackle these challenges, it needs close collaboration between basic research (animal physiology and pathology, diagnostics, wildlife disease research), research at the herd level (large animal clinics, herd health management) and population medicine approaches (epidemiology, surveillance), as well as contributions from other disciplines such as social sciences.
The research of the Focus is centered on the surveillance and control of infectious and production diseases in animals, both at the farm and population level. To reach these aims, the Focus integrates the various expertise and disciplines, and proposes and implements solutions. Particularly the latter aspect requires the prominent involvement of translational research.