Peter Cockcroft

Professor Peter Cockcroft

Professor Ruminant Health

Faculty of Sciences

Peter Cockcroft is Professor in Ruminant Health at the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide. His current research interests include the transitional ruminant, BVD in sheep and alpacas and improved methods of targeted disease monitoring and surveillance. Teaching interests include: clinical diagnostics, evidence-based veterinary medicine and population medicine. Peter has published 5 veterinary books including: ‘A Handbook of Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine’; ‘Handbook of Clinical Veterinary Research’ and ‘Bovine Medicine’. Peter is an experienced production animal clinician and academic. He is currently Head of the Production Animal Health Department.

Colostrum as a sample type in ELISA tests

Colostrum contains a relatively high concentration of immunoglobulins when compared to serum. This can be used to advantage by increasing the test sensitivity of ELISA tests. My current reaserch has been to explore the diagnostic utility of this sample type accross a range of important diseases in production animals. Our work has examined the improvement of the test sensitivity of the Johne's Disease (Mycobacterium avium partuberculosis) ELISA in cattle. This sample type may also have an application in the diagnosis of Bovine TB (Mycobacterium bovis) in cattle using the new antigen arrays. Our future resaerch will be targeting these diseases in more detail.

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDv) and reservoir hosts

BVDV is an economically important infection causing disease in cattle worldwide. This virus can infect other species including sheep and alpacas. Our current research is exploring the potential of these species to act as reservoir hosts for cattle and the risk posed by infected cattle to these species.


  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2006 - 2009 Director Cambridge Expert VETS (Veterinary Education and Training)
    1995 - 2006 Senior Lecturer University of Cambridge
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2015 - 2016 Australian Institute of Business South Australia MBA
    1996 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom DVM&S
    1990 - 1993 University Of Southern Africa (UNISA) South Africa Dip. Dat
    1981 University of Cambridge England MA
    1980 - 1981 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom MSc
    1974 - 1980 University of Cambridge England Vet MB (Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2005 European College Specialist in Bovine Health Management European Specialist Veterinary Colleges
    2004 Dip. ECBHM European College of Health Management
    2002 Fellow Higher Education Academy United Kingdom
    2000 DCHP Royal Colleg of Veterinary Surgeons (UK) UK
    1995 Cert CHP Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (UK) United Kingdom
  • Research Interests

Faculty of Sciences minor equipment (2010) $10,000

PhD Scholarship Award – University of Adelaide   $72,000

Research Funding Award –Meat and Livestock Australia (2010) $24,000 – Rumen adaptation in the transitional ruminan

Veterinary Research Synergies Pty Ltd (2011) $7000-00 The impact of yeast supplementation on rumen adaptation

Pork CRC (2011) $50,000 Investigation of oral rennin (chymosin) supplementation as a farm level protocol to improve the passive transfer of immunity in neonatal piglets.

Meat and Livestock Australia (2013) $24,000 Investigations into BVD in sheep and alpacas

My current major roles the School's programmes are as the primary tutor and course co-ordinator of the production animal health clinical rotation in the final year of the veterinary programme. I also have teaching responsibilities in other courses in the programes related to production animal health, in particular the teaching of cattle and alpaca medicine.

  • Position: Professor Ruminant Health
  • Phone: 83137883
  • Email:
  • Campus: Roseworthy
  • Building: CRC - Pig
  • Room: 1 10
  • Org Unit: Veterinary Science

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