Whilst treatment can be effective in reducing losses, prevention is the most cost-effective way to manage the disease.
Because more calves can be affected by respiratory disease than just the obvious clinical cases, many farmers see an improvement in performance across the whole herd when they protect against respiratory disease. Underlying respiratory problems can affect growth rates and therefore profitability and many leading farmers now see a vaccination programme as an essential part of their herd health plan.
It’s no coincidence that many recent recipients of the Beef Farmer of the Year Award vaccinated their stock against respiratory disease.
Vaccination works in two ways:
- Increasing the calves’ immunity so they are better protected.
- Reducing the challenge - vaccination reduces the amount of virus the calves breathe out, hence reducing viral levels in the shed.
Vaccination against respiratory disease is therefore a herd strategy. For maximum benefit, all calves within an airspace should be vaccinated, and ideally they should be vaccinated before they are housed to ensure protection is in place before this critical risk period. Consideration should also be given to the length of protection, which ideally should last through the winter housing period.
On farms where the cause of disease is unknown, or where bought-in stock increase the risk of mixed infections, an ideal vaccine should provide broad spectrum protection, such as Rispoval® 4.
What Farmers are Saying
Find out from those who have already experienced SureCalf what they have to say about the programme.
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