Course code VET328

VET328 Differentiation in Production animal medicine and food safety

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2017 - 2018 .

Course responsible: Ane Christine Wammer Nødtvedt, Ane Christine Wammer Nødtvedt
Teachers: Eystein Skjerve
ECTS credits: 35
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
Look at the semester plan
Course frequency: Yearly
First time: Study year 2017-2018
Last time: 2018V
Preferential right:
Course contents:

Content ambulatory clinic 

Three weeks practical clinical work with cattle and pigs, as well as some sheep and horse practice. A total of 1 week practical work with a minimum 3 visits in "Min besetning"

Content clinical reproduction 

The course is a week-long and includes clinical work in the reproduction clinic and in cattle herds. The students will get practical training in clinical examination of cattle genitalia as well as theoretical reviews. Furthermore, group assignments will be handed out which need to be solved during the week, answers will be reviewed with supervisor.

Content and aim stationary clinic for medicine/surgery/obstetrics 

The specialization week will offer active duty with the clinical care of cattle, pigs and some sheep/goats. The aim is also to provide instruction in some central issues in production animal practices. Students will be given greater responsibility relative to previous clinic periods and they will partially participate in the supervision of younger students.

Content Small ruminant practice and diseases around lambing 

The course focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and diseases of the ewe and lamb around lambing. Duration: two weeks.

Content Herd health and advisory service

The teaching takes place at NMBU Veterinary school's section in Sandnes. The herd health teaching in swine livestock and poultry farms (broiler and egg production) will focus on management factors, handling of animals, review of health records, animal environment in different departments and feeding related issues. If relevant, diagnostic tests will be performed. In addition, production hygiene will be integrated into herd meat inspection and control of communicable diseases. There is also emphasis on animal welfare.

An introduction to practical supervision of animal health and animal welfare will be provided in the advisory service part of the course. An overview of important public health considerations for veterinarians will be provided. Students will gain insight into the veterinarians role in inspections, both as a public veterinarian and a private practitioner. The focus will be on the health of livestock, animal welfare, livestock hygiene (animal room, milking parlor, feed storage etc.) and biosecurity. Students will participate in realistic situations with the food inspection agency inspections in herds of sheep, fur animals, cattle, poultry and swine.

The course duration is 10 days.

Content Veterinary public health 

The following topics will be covered:

  • The regulations covering the veterinary public health field by FSA including a thorough review of the hygiene package and requirements of an «official veterinarian»
  • Risk-based supervision:
  • Understanding of the concept.
  • Application of risk assessment in the FSA scope.
  • Arrangements for disease surveillance and disease control when it comes to animal diseases and zoonotic agents as well as work with assessment of animal welfare.
  • Public veterinarian:

-     Review of the academic requirements to act as a public veterinarian.

-     Overview of curriculum towards examination.

  • Administrative procedures and decisions:
  • Working with background documents based on field data and observations.
  • Writing of decisions in disease control, animal welfare and food safety.

Content Production Hygiene 

Lectures of various types, understanding of how HACCP works, visits, visits to the waterworks and the area around Oslo's water supply. Students will hold seminars for each other about what they have learned in the different companies.

Content Dairy herd health 

Herd health, part of cattle, has a total length of 10 days. Initially, 2 days, there will be given a review of epidemiological concepts and targets as well as tools for analysis of herd, including the interpretation of herd output, use of protocols, reporting and monitoring. One day will be devoted entirely to feeding. There are also plans for a day visit with Geno at Hamar and Tine at Ås. There are 3 herd visits with herd reports; reproduction (theory will be combined with visits to Geno), udder health (theory will be combined with visits to Tine) and calf health. In addition, the course will include a visit to a beef cattle herd in which the operations are reviewed. One day will be devoted to a review of the reports from the herd visits.

Content Specialization sheep

Make in-depth review of 1-2 sheep flocks with records of herd data, examinations of individual animals, sampling, analysis and evaluation of results, assessments of risk factors for disease, cost-benefit analysis of preventive measures, and drafting of a report with advice on practical disease prevention in the herd.

Content porcine herd health

Teaching is at NMBU Veterinary school Adamstuen, in swine herds in the eastern areas, and at Norsvin. Lecturers in the theory section are from NMBU Veterinary school, VI, Animalia and Norsvin. The training in routine work in the period around birth occurs in large satellites near NMBU Veterinary school, and gestation, mating and reproduction control in the hub of a sow ring. Herd counseling is based on herds with relevant probelms such as suckling pig or weaning diarrhea, respiratory or reproductive problems. Students receive background data for the herds and shall during visits collect more data and information about the herds and the disease complex and perform herd review as independently as possible. Student groups of approximately 3 will be responsible for the herd health report on preventive measures. The course includes the writing and approval of reports which shall be of such quality that they can be sent to the herd owner and practicing veterinarian/health service veterinarian. Work outside normal working course time must be expected. The operations performed on piglets will be performed on NMBU Veterinary school last day before the surgery course starts and in cooperation with the responsible for this course. Training in placement of venous catheters and intravenous total anesthesia in piglets will be provided. The course might contain longer trips with up to two over-night stays away, accommodation and social content will be organized by the teacher ("Hedmarkturen").

Content Specialization in surgery

5-day course of surgery on production animals. Integration of theoretical and practical lessons.

Content Specialization Food Safety 

Students can specialize in issues related to FSA, industry, technology, epidemiology, microbiology, toxicology and risk assessment.

Learning outcome:

Learning outcome ambulatory clinic 

After completing the course the students will

  • Have good knowledge and skills in practical clinical work on production animal, both in individual animals and at herd level.

Learning outcome Clinical reproduction

After completing the course the students will

  • Be able to provide an overview of clinical reproduction in cattle, i.e. perform sexual health control on cattle, could diagnose the stage of normal oestrus cycle, point out abnormalities and deviations from the normal oestrus- and pregnancy progress and diagnose pregnancy from 5 weeks on cows.
  • Be able to make a scientific study of reproductive problems in both dairy and beef cattle herds.
  • Have good skills in investigation of individual animals and be able to see this in the context of herd status in cattle.
  • Be able to perform a fertility study of male animals with extraction of semen.
  • Be able to explain the ultrasound examination of the genitalia in cattle and principles of embryo transfer.

Learning outcome stationary clinic for medicine/surgery/obstetrics

After completing the course the students will

  • Have acquired a good knowledge and skills in practical clinical work on all common species of production animals, and know how to diagnose, assess and treat sick animals.
  • Have received some training in the guidance of clinic work and the dissemination of knowledge about production animal medicine. 

Aim and learning outcome Ruminant practice and diseases around 

To achieve experience in sheep/goat practice through as much sole responsibility as possible for case history, disease diagnosis and treatment, obstetrics, caesarean section, autopsy follow-up and feedback and advice to farmers.

After completing the course the students will

  • Have sufficient expertise and experience to work in sheep/goat practice, ie. have a good overview of relevant diseases and approach and handling of these.

Aim and learning outcome Counseling and Supervision in herds 

Gain practical knowledge and skills in assessment and counseling work in swine herds, poultry operations (chicken and human consumption eggs), cattle, sheep and fur farming, and practical supervision in selected herds.

After completing the course the student should have good basis for:

  • Engage independent consulting work in pig and poultry farm herds.
  • Independent work for FSA on the livestock chain (food safety, disease control, animal health, animal welfare, livestock hygiene, production hygiene).

Aim and learning outcome Veterinary public health 

The student will during the course acquire knowledge about the veterinarian¿s scope and responsibilities of the FSA. This will professionally be based on an understanding of veterinary public health ¿ focusing on the veterinarian¿s social responsibility in the control of animal diseases and food infections, and responsibility for animal welfare and the environment. Completion of the course, along with other parts of the veterinary course, will provide the basic skills needed to work at the FSA, by the student meeting the requirements to be an official veterinarian.  

After completing the course the students will

  • Understand the veterinarian¿s community responsibility in a broad sense and keep track of what Veterinary public health contains.
  • Understand the framework for risk-based supervision and how risk assessments are used in the field.
  • Have basic knowledge of the rules that qualify to work as a public veterinary.
  • Be able to work on a decision in cases of disease control, animal welfare and food safety.

Aim and learning outcome Production Hygiene 

Give the students an insight into how food production works in Norway. Get insight into how hygiene is handled in companies and water utilities. Get insight into how the FSA works in Norway.

After completing the course the student should be able to:

  • Think analytically about how to prevent the spread of infection through food and water.
  • Help make arrangements for hygienic food and water productions.

Aim and learning outcome Herd health 

To provide specialization in the field of herd health

To provide students with a basis to carry out a crew report and take steps to normalize and optimize health and reproduction in a cattle herd

After completing the course the student should:

  • Be able to diagnose, take action and provide advice in connection to the investigation of health and reproductive problems at herd level.

Aim and Learning outcome Specialization sheep

Be able to make health-related depth review of the flock, select appropriate test and follow up, assess welfare, diagnose disease and evaluate casual relationships, and provide specific advice to the farmer.

Be able to make independent health care in sheep flocks, even in groups that do not participate in other organized health care, and where there is no prior data.

Aim and learning outcome Specialization swine

Specialization swine shall provide training in routine work in swine herds, providing deeper insight into Norwegian swine production, diseases and herd problems, and provide expertise in the study as a basis for counseling and preventive work in swine farms.

After completing the course the student should be able to:

  • Conduct routine and disease ratings in herds in the period around birth.
  • Implement pregnancy examination with different methods and oestrus and reproductive control.
  • Use reports from USR and Ingris and evaluate diseases/disease complexes in swine herds as the basis for assessment of herd problems.
  • Perform herd review, give good advice and suggest reasonable precautions in swine herds.
  • Conduct decontamination of various diseases in swine.
  • Inserting epidural ¿ and total anesthesia and perform common surgical operations on piglets.

Aim Specialization in surgery

Provide students with increased knowledge and skills in:

  • Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of hoof disorders at individual and herd level.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of surgical abdominal cavity disorders in cattle.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of umbilical, joint and bone disorders in production animals.
  • Castration and surgical procedures by anomalies in the gender system in production animals.
  • General surgical principles including aseptic, antiseptic, methods of suture and wound healing.

Learning outcome Specialization in surgery

After completing the course the students will

  • Be able to work independently in the production animal practice and be able to perform both emergency care and preventive health care within the defined areas.

Aim and Learning outcome Specialization Food Safety 

For the students who wish to specialize in particular areas of food safety in terms of future work at the FSA, food industry, or other work in food safety.

The program will be designed individually/in groups from the interest of the students, and the specific learning outcomes will vary.

Learning activities:

Program ambulatory clinic 

The teaching takes place in small groups with a lot of self-study and individualized training under supervision. Systematic use of crew data and participation in the evaluation of crew problems will naturally be included in the program.

Program Clinical reproduction 

The teaching consists of students themselves examining the reproductive organs of cows both by palpation and by ultrasound. It will be carried out visits in a beef cattle farm and in 1-2 dairy farms. Students also try semen collection in male animals and learn the principles for assessment of sperm quality with emphasis on ruminants. A part of the learning consists of solving group exercises focusing on reproductive issues related herd of cattle. 

Program stationary clinic for medicine/surgery/obstetrics

The specialization week will consist of active duty in the stationary clinic for medicine, surgery and obstetrics from 0815 to 1500. Students will preferably be distributed evenly throughout the fall and spring semester in groups of 2 students, and to some extent participate in the teaching of students in 8th and 9th semester. The work will include examination of patients, assessment of additional tests, treatment, journal writing and discussion of patient outcome. During the week, students present a theme in production animal medicine for the younger students, clinic veterinarians and other interested parties. For students who may have active duty for weeks without younger students, we can¿t offer participation in education, but the opportunity for independent clinical work will be good.

Program Ruminant practice and diseases around lambing 

Teaching takes place at NMBU Veterinary school's section in Sandnes. Teaching takes place as guided independent study in the sheep house around lambing (obstetrics, weak lambs, treatments), cesarean section, clinical examination of pregnant animals, autopsies of sheep and lambs, follow-up in the laboratory etc. There will be prepared reports to the farmer, and provided overviews of individual topics.

Program Counseling and Supervision in herds 

The teaching takes place at NMBU Veterinary school's section in Sandnes. The crew counseling will add emphasis on the use of available ¿tools¿ in the herd analysis and independent work in crews under supervision. The veterinarian¿s role as a crew advisor will be particularly emphasized.

In the audit section the students participate in FDAs inspections in realistic situations in herds of sheep, fur animals, cattle, poultry and swine. The students are involved as much as possible in the assessment work and in communication with the farmer.


The course is in three parts, with an initial week of lectures and group work, and a final week with topics that are important to know about as a public veterinarian including the hygiene package and a final (MC) test.By passing the veterinary public health the student will satisfy the competence of a ¿Public employed veterinarian¿ according to the words of the hygiene package (H3) about the professional qualifications of the public veterinarian.

Program Production Hygiene

The FSA gives a lecture about how they work. Visit the slaughterhouse, production companies and water utilities with range. Join the FSA visiting the companies.

Program Specialization sheep

Visiting one or to herds with collecting of data and samples, analysis of the sample material, processing results, review of relevant topics related to the herd, design a report and presentation of the report to the farmer.

Program Specialization in surgery

A herd visit will be planned, focusing on hoof disease in dairy cattle and preventive hoof health work. In addition, the course will be held in the Stationary Clinics premises at NMBU Veterinary school.

Same literature as in 7th, 8th and 9th semester
Admitted to the Veterinary Medicine Program and completed 1-9. semester of the veterinary medicine program
Recommended prerequisites:
Based on the examination in companion animal medicine from 9th semester
Mandatory activity:

Mandatory teaching and program requirements ambulatory clinic:

Everything is mandatory. The student must also participate in shift minimum 4 evenings and 1 weekend-day. Approval is required of 2 delivered journals and 3 reports. 

Mandatory teaching and program requirements Clinical reproduction :

Everything is mandatory, and you have to finish assigned tasks.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements stationary clinic for medicine/surgery/obstetrics :

The required is attendance and performing assigned duties in 4 of the 5 days.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements Ruminant practice and diseases around lambing :

Mandatory for specialization students. All students must attend night shift. There are expected long days in the barn. The requirements for attendance are 9 of 10 working days.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements Counseling and Supervision in herds :

100 % attendance is required.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements Veterinary public health :

90 % attendance is required. Case presentations and MC test. If the course requirements are not met there will be a meeting with the student to ensure their competence. If the student does not thereby show that they have acquired sufficient skills, the course must be repeated the following year.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements Production Hygiene :

Mandatory participation every day

Writing of reports from every visit and lecture this to other students who have been elsewhere.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements Specialization in surgery:

80 % for each of the course modules, but all assignments and herd reports must be submitted at the designated time.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements Specialization Food Safety :

Organized programs are mandatory; otherwise any reports/presentations must be approved.


Assessment of the optional part

The presence and activities is required to be completed to receive credit. It is the student¿s responsibility to ensure that the optional part is carried out, and there will be no reimbursement of tuition for this unless the student can demonstrate legitimate absence.

Responsible for the course gives a diploma/certificate and/or acknowledge the evaluation form in which the optional part is listed. Only 100 % completed elective program is approved. 


To pass the differentiation direction in production animal medicine and food safety, the following two parts must be passed:

  • Thesis (15.0 ECTS): Passed Norwegian and English names should be applied the diploma
  • Specialization in Production animal clinical sciences and food safety (36.5 ECTS): Passed (consisting of the mandatory part (clinic and topics) 35.0 ECTS and elective part 1.5 ECTS). Or alternatively Specialization in production animal clinical sciences and food safety with extra emphasis on food safety (36.5 ECTS): Passed

Grading form and 2 copies of the thesis must be delivered SFA no later than 1 week before the end of the term for the certificate to be issued by the exam completion.

Entrance requirements:
Admitted to the Veterinary Medicine Program and completed 1-9. semester of the veterinary medicine program

Requirements for own equipment

Work clothes, hard-toe shoe, stethoscope and scissors

Examination details: :