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Characteristics of cattle movements in Britain – an analysis of records from the Cattle Tracing System

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

A. Mitchell
Affiliation:
Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
D. Bourn*
Affiliation:
Environmental Research Group Oxford Limited, PO Box 346, Oxford OX4 2FE, UK
J. Mawdsley
Affiliation:
Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
W. Wint
Affiliation:
Environmental Research Group Oxford Limited, PO Box 346, Oxford OX4 2FE, UK
R. Clifton-Hadley
Affiliation:
Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
M. Gilbert
Affiliation:
Biological Control and Spatial Ecology CP160/12, Free University of Brussels, av. F. D. Roosevelt 50, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
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Abstract

This paper reviews the main temporal and spatial characteristics of cattle movements in Britain, based on an analysis of records in the British Cattle Movement Service's Cattle Tracing System (CTS) database, focusing on the period 2001 to 2003, during which notification of cattle movements was mandatory. Movements vary weekly and seasonally according to the production cycle, with peaks in late spring (April) and early autumn (October), and an average 1·63 million farm-to-farm movements per month, equivalent to 19·6 million per annum. The geographical distribution of these movements appears to be relatively stable from year to year, with the great majority of animals moving less than 100 km per journey, although many tens of thousands move over far greater distances of up to 1000 km. The procedures developed to extract, match, geo-reference, analyse and display movement records have greatly enhanced the utility of the CTS database, in that it is now feasible to assess, monitor and mapthe spatial dynamics and geographical distribution of cattle movements, and provide this information in standardized format on a regular basis.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Science 2005

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References

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