Improving smallholder beef health & production in Cambodia and Laos through developing a biosecure market-driven production system and enhancing village-based biosecurity for livestock disease risk management


Opportunity exits for a PhD candidate to work within an ACIAR project aimed at identifying the preferred interventions that can improve smallholder beef health & production in Cambodia and Laos.


Associate Professor Russell David Bush

Research Location

Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Program Type



This project addresses deficiencies in cattle health and production practices in Cambodia and Laos, two of the poorest countries in SE Asia. The majority of the mostly rural population is engaged in smallholder subsistence farming utilising large ruminants for rice production. With demand for meat growing rapidly in adjacent countries, estimated at over 3% per annum, a significant increase in export of cattle and buffalo for meat consumption in Vietnam, Thailand and potentially China is occurring, estimated at up to 25% of cattle traded and exceeding 100,000 pa per country (Windsor 2007, data from ACIAR project AH/2006/077, ‘

Identifying research priorities for the development for the beef industry in Cambodia and Lao PDR with special reference to animal health interventions’). This trade offers both a means to address rural poverty through enhancing the quality of the animals and mechanisms supporting this mostly unregulated trade, plus presents a major risk to the control of transboundary diseases in the region, particularly Foot and Mouth Disease. In meeting both opportunity and risk of the developing beef trade in the Mekong region, ACIAR project AH/2005/086 is now commencing in Cambodia, entitled ‘Best practice cattle and buffalo health and husbandry systems for Cambodia’. 

The project aims to improve the profitability of large ruminant production by Cambodian smallholder farmers through improving disease control and husbandry practices.

Additional Information

Potential students should be eligible for an APA or UPA and may be eligible for additional support from the Australian Biosecurity CRC.

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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beef, cow, health, production, Cambodia, Laos, Asian farms smallholder, animal health, best practice, subsistence farming, foot and mouth, cattle, husbandry, disease control, forage feeding

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 627