WP2 has developed the on-farm protocol for assessing animal health status, resources, measures and general characteristics of organic dairy farms, and applied it to more than 200 farms in four European countries (France, Germany, Spain and Sweden). The protocol and additional data collection provided an estimation of the European-wide and structural variability of health status on organic dairy farms. Furthermore, the participatory and farm-centric approach was carried out, based on an impact matrix to assess opportunities and constraints.

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WP3 has developed proactive monitoring and preventive protocols and has carried out testing and piloting of the initial protocols in France and Sweden with farmers, advisors and vets. A monitoring protocol was tailored for the farm in order to adapt it to the health problems that the farmers considered important in their herds. The main conclusion of the tests was that the protocols should be adaptable to each farm. Hence, they have been revised accordingly. For 12 months, the farmer and the respective advisor met in a regular basis to implement the pro-active protocol by their own.

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In WP 4 protocols / decision trees for the diagnostic procedure and the use of homeopathic treatments have been elaborated. Five questionnaires have been addressed to different stakeholders in Germany, France and Spain to assess the manageability of alternative treatments according to the state-of-the-art. The results of the surveys displayed considerable heterogeneity in the use of homeopathic remedies among the farms. Main barriers regarding the appropriate use of homeopathy have been identified. 

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In WP5 an adaptive conjoint analysis (ACA) has been developed and was carried out during the first farm visits in WP2. Data have been analysed and the utilities derived from the ACA have been related to farm specific socio-demographic data. Furthermore, a sociological questionnaire and an economical tool to be used during the second farm visits were elaborated.

Farmers’ perception towards animal health problems have been analysed and summarised in a report (D5.1). Also the intention and motivation of farmers to implement recommendations have been evaluated.

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WP6 has the objective to elaborate a prefiguration (beta-version) of a software-based decision support toolbox for herd health management in organic dairy. The software module “impact matrix” has been developed according to plan and has been used during the second farm visits in WP2. As further tools: a health monitoring tool, two approaches of cost-benefit analyses, enabling the identification of measures with the best cost-benefit relationship, and protocols for prevention and treatments have been elaborated under WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5.

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In WP7, the project website was established, providing the outline of the project (www.impro-dairy.eu). The project brochures as well as accepted public Deliverables are available for download on the website. A range of outreach and dissemination activities have been carried out including conference presentations and the writing of articles.

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The IMPRO project was expanded by an additional WP9, the Pilot Project 'Coordinate research on alternative treatments in livestock farming'. WP9 has the objective to assess the role of alternative treatments (homeopathy and phytotherapy) when striving for options to reduce the use of antibiotics in organic and conventional livestock farming.

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Final brochure

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Digest

Download the IMPRO digest published in the Parliament Magazine Issue 428