Spatial and network characteristics of Irish cattle movements

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Title: Spatial and network characteristics of Irish cattle movements
Authors: Tratalos, Jamie A.Madden, Jamie M.McGrath, GuyGraham, David A.Collins, Áine B.More, Simon John
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12292
Date: Oct-2020
Online since: 2021-06-23T11:58:07Z
Abstract: Our aim was to examine, for the first time, the spatial and network characteristics of cattle movements between herds in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), to inform policy and research of relevance to the surveillance and management of disease in Irish cattle. We analysed movements in 2016 as discrete herd to herd pairings (degree), herd to herd pairings by date of move (contacts) and herd to herd pairings by date and individual animal (transfers), and looked at each of these as movements out of a herd (out degree, out contacts, out transfers) and into a herd (in degree, in contacts, in transfers). We found that the frequency distributions, by herd, of these six move types were all heavily right skewed but in the case of the ‘out’ data types more closely followed a log-normal than the scale free distribution often reported for livestock movement data. For each distinct herd to herd contact in a given direction, over 90 % occurred only once, whereas the maximum number of occurrences was 62. Herd-level Spearman rank correlations between inward moves (represented as in degree, in contacts, in transfers) and outward moves (out degree, out contacts, out transfers) were weak or even negative whereas correlations between different measures of outward moves or inward moves (e.g. out degree vs. out contacts, in transfers vs. in degree) were stronger. Correlations between these variables and the network measure betweenness varied between r = 0.513 and r = 0.587. Some herds took part in a relatively large number of movements whilst also retaining their cattle for long periods (> 100 days) between moves. In and out degree, contacts and transfers were mapped across Ireland on a 5 km grid, and additionally normalized per 1000 animals and per herd. We found considerable variation in the number of movements by county. Approximately half of transfers were conducted within a single county, but the number and distance of between county movements varied considerably by county of origin and county of destination, with the proportion of moves completed within a single county correlated with its size. Herds exchanging cattle via a market were generally further apart than when moves were made directly herd to herd. For contacts, the distances moved away from the herd were on average greater for origin herds in the west of ROI whereas distances moved to a herd were generally greater for destination herds in the centre-east and the north-west.Our aim was to examine, for the first time, the spatial and network characteristics of cattle movements between herds in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), to inform policy and research of relevance to the surveillance and management of disease in Irish cattle. We analysed movements in 2016 as discrete herd to herd pairings (degree), herd to herd pairings by date of move (contacts) and herd to herd pairings by date and individual animal (transfers), and looked at each of these as movements out of a herd (out degree, out contacts, out transfers) and into a herd (in degree, in contacts, in transfers). We found that the frequency distributions, by herd, of these six move types were all heavily right skewed but in the case of the ‘out’ data types more closely followed a log-normal than the scale free distribution often reported for livestock movement data. For each distinct herd to herd contact in a given direction, over 90 % occurred only once, whereas the maximum number of occurrences was 62. Herd-level Spearman rank correlations between inward moves (represented as in degree, in contacts, in transfers) and outward moves (out degree, out contacts, out transfers) were weak or even negative whereas correlations between different measures of outward moves or inward moves (e.g. out degree vs. out contacts, in transfers vs. in degree) were stronger. Correlations between these variables and the network measure betweenness varied between r = 0.513 and r = 0.587. Some herds took part in a relatively large number of movements whilst also retaining their cattle for long periods (> 100 days) between moves. In and out degree, contacts and transfers were mapped across Ireland on a 5 km grid, and additionally normalized per 1000 animals and per herd. We found considerable variation in the number of movements by county. Approximately half of transfers were conducted within a single county, but the number and distance of between county movements varied considerably by county of origin and county of destination, with the proportion of moves completed within a single county correlated with its size. Herds exchanging cattle via a market were generally further apart than when moves were made directly herd to herd. For contacts, the distances moved away from the herd were on average greater for origin herds in the west of ROI whereas distances moved to a herd were generally greater for destination herds in the centre-east and the north-west.
Funding Details: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume: 183
Copyright (published version): 2020 the Authors
Keywords: Cattle movementIrelandNetworkPower lawSpatial
DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105095
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0167-5877
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Veterinary Medicine Research Collection
CVERA Research Collection

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