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How to gain £128-£722 lifetime productivity dividend by protecting calves from pneumonia: New advisory booklets at Livestock Event

Advisory booklets about maximising the impact of respiratory good health on lifetime productivity in dairy heifers and all types of beef calves were launched at the Livestock Event by Zoetis. Under the theme, 'Inside every calf lies a lifetime's productivity', the booklets advise how to capture the significant financial impact of respiratory health best practice.

Based on published peer-reviewed research, the forecasted impact in dairy females is £722/head gain in lifetime performance for healthy calves over those treated for pneumonia. For dairy-bred beef and suckler beef calves, the advantage in healthy animals ranges from £128 to £263 per head depending on production system and whether calves experience moderate or severe respiratory disease..

To help convey the impact as clearly and to as many farmers as possible, these are demonstrated visually in the booklets as info-graphics (see right) as well as being described in text.

All herds are at risk of respiratory infections, according to Zoetis vet Carolyn Hogan, so protecting calves as early as possible helps ensure they can reach full potential.

"Respiratory ill-health is common in young calves and all herds are at potential risk. It has been estimated that 67% of cases of pneumonia occur in calves less than 3 months of age.1

"In addition, some calves will be infected, but not show obvious clinical signs and therefore go unnoticed, but the underlying lung damage can limit growth rates.2 For reared calves, the long-term impact appears to be greatest when poor respiratory health affects them at a young age, often pre-weaning.3

"Respiratory health is influenced by environmental and management factors, and viruses or bacteria, including Mycoplasma bovis. Chronologically, the earliest available defence tactic is ensuring that three litres of good quality colostrum is consumed within no more than six hours, and ideally two, from birth. Clean and dry housing, ample straw bedding, warmth and clean air are the next priorities."

According to the booklets, most outbreaks of pneumonia start with a virus. In young calves, BRSv and Pi3v are two of the most important.4 Blood samples from 2,271 calves in 2014 on farms with pneumonia problems showed 76% had been exposed to BRSv and 83% to Pi3v.5 Such high levels mean that many calves have potential to benefit from early and effective vaccine protection, which is available as a single dose intranasal treatment that can be used from nine days of age (trade name: Rispoval® IntraNasal).

Lifetime value of good respiratory health

Click image to enlarge

1ZOETIS market research (2006)
2WITTUM, T.E. et al. (1996) JAVMA 209(4), 814-818
3VAN DER FELS-KLERX, H.J. et al. (2002) Livestock Production Science 75, 157-166
4GRAHAM, D.A. et al. (1998) J Vet Diagnostic Investigation 10, 43-48
5ZOETIS respiratory serology surveillance scheme January - December 2014 (n=2271)


Rispoval® IntraNasal  contains modified live Bovine Pi3v, ts strain RLB103, (105.0 to 108.6 CCID50) and modified live BRSv, strain
375, (105.0 to 107.2 CCID50) supplied with sterile diluent. POM V.
For further information please see the SPC, contact your veterinary surgeon or  Zoetis UK Ltd, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7NS. Customer Support 0845 3008034. www.zoetis.co.uk. Always seek the advice of your medicines provider. Use medicines responsibly (www.noah.co.uk/responsible).