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Disease Prevention

Diseases affecting your bulls can be particularly costly when they affect his fertility or the fertility of the breeding herd and may result in lower than acceptable conception rates or an extended joining in the herd.[17]

Disease prevention is more effective and less costly than treatment. Once you have identified the risk from any particular animal health issue, decide whether to:[25]

  • take immediate action and develop a preventive management program, or
  • monitor the herd when disease symptoms are likely to occur in the production cycle, and act only when diseases appear

Use a cost benefit calculator, such as the one provided by MLA, to help decide whether prevention of some of the more commonly recurring diseases (e.g. bloat, grass tetany, clostridial diseases) is cost-effective.

http://www.mla.com.au/News-and-resources/Tools-and-calculators/Health-cost-benefit-calculator


Vaccinations

Vaccinations are an important part of disease prevention in an animal health program to reduce production and fertility losses in your bulls.

Talk to your veterinarian or beef advisor:

  1.  before embarking on a vaccination program for your herd for up-to-date advice, or
  2. to find out whether you should expand your vaccine choice from your usual selection in light of the previous year’s events

Purchased bulls may be a source of introducing disease even when they appear healthy. All bulls should be vaccinated with:[8]

  • 7-in-1 vaccine to protect against leptospirosis and clostridial diseases
  • vibriosis vaccine
  • pestivirus (BVDV) vaccine
  • three-day sickness vaccine*

*If in areas where this exists and may cause problems

TIPS


Know the common cattle diseases in your locality.[25 ]


Consult with neighbours, producers with similar production systems, local veterinary practitioners and state departments of primary industries and agriculture to assist with a thorough assessment of the disease status of your herd.[25 ]


Vaccinate against specific diseases if it is cost-effective or a human health risk.[25 ]


Catastrophes often remain undetected until pregnancy testing or calving.17 Discuss with your veterinarian whether you should expand your vaccine choice from your usual selection in light of the past year’s events.[17]


Consult your veterinarian to prevent substandard preg-testing results – test for vibriosis and pestivirus.


Consult your veterinarians and draw up a policy for treating bulls on arrival and then annually.[8]

All bulls should be tested to ensure they are not persistently infected (PI) or carriers of pestivirus (BVDV).