Development, implementation and evaluation of a bulk tank milk surveillance program for infectious and emerging diseases on Ontario dairy farms

The spread of endemic and emerging infectious diseases continues to plague the dairy industry. The convergence of human, animal, and ecosystem interactions results in emergence and re-emergence of diseases in dairy cattle such as salmonellosis and anaplasmosis. Adding to the mix, frequent buying of cattle contributes to rapid dissemination of infectious diseases in dairy cattle. The University of Guelph is exceptionally well-positioned to lead the development and implementation of a surveillance network based on bulk tank milk. Every licensed dairy farm submits milk samples to the Agriculture & Food Laboratory unit at the University of Guelph at least once every 2 days for quality testing and payment. We propose to establish a routine process to access bulk tank samples from Ontario dairy farms and test whether samples are positive for endemic and emerging diseases of interest. Our overarching goal is to work with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, a farmer-run organization serving dairy producers, and our testing partner Lactanet, to establish a disease surveillance pilot network in Ontario farms, as a way to rapidly identify and respond to the introduction of emerging pathogens. We will work with collaborators in other provinces to move towards a nationally integrated program.

Faculty Supervisor:

David Kelton


Diego Borin Nobrega


Dairy Farmers of Ontario


Animal science




University of Guelph



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