Ruminant Population Health

Advancing pain management and the use of anti-inflammatories in cattle

In the UK and across Europe, the number of dairy farms has decreased. Meanwhile, the average size of each dairy herd has grown. This is creating real challenges around grazing large numbers of cattle and leading to a move towards housing cows inside, all year round.

It’s a situation that’s creating a great deal of debate, as it appears that the image – and visibility – of cattle grazing in our fields may play an important part in shaping the public’s view of dairy farming. Recent media attention has illustrated substantial sensitivities around housing dairy cattle. It also demonstrated that the issue is a major threat to consumer confidence and therefore the sustainability and future success of the British dairy industry.

Spotlight projects

Revealing valuable insights

The aim of our multidisciplinary research is to provide deeper insights into the attitudes of a variety of stakeholders, including dairy consumers and the general public. We’re exploring their perspectives on the management and wellbeing of dairy cows under different farming environments, with the aim of better informing, influencing and supporting dairy farmers.

Our work aims to answer several key questions:

  • What can we understand from media representation of dairy farming? (Using machine learning, sentiment analysis and linguistics / data mining)
  • What factors or beliefs can explain the diversity of public perception and acceptance of different aspects of dairy farming and farming environments?
  • What role do people’s frames of reference and emotions play? (Using consumer science and psychology)
  • What image of dairy farming do different stakeholders in UK have? Does that match their ideal or desired image? (Using sociology methods)
Meet our research team

Our experts

Find out more about our staff and their fields of speciality


  • AHDB Dairy

Ruminant Population Health

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD