Some of you may be aware that we have a new vet in the practice, Liusaidh McMaster. Liusaidh is from a beef and sheep farm on Arran and has just graduated from Edinburgh University. She is looking forward to getting out on farms and treating your animals.
TB tests are being allocated by DEFRA to us as well as yourselves. Your letter will give you a 2 or 3-month window in which to do the test. If you are waiting until cattle are housed this may give us a limited time to complete the work so please book your test as soon as possible. We have a number of herds in radial zones at Cartmel and Drigg, the majority of which will need to be done before Christmas so this will further reduce availability for those of you wanting to leave your test as close to the end date as possible. A reminder that all animals over 6 weeks old that you intend to use for breeding will need to be tested at your routine herd test.
As mentioned in the last newsletter there is funding available for you to look for evidence of BVD virus in your herd. The virus can cause problems by lowering the immune system of infected animals causing an increase in cases of scour and pneumonia in young stock as well as infertility and abortion in cows. There are national eradication campaigns in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and this is an attempt to try and reduce the incidence of disease in England. It has been proposed that a compulsory eradication campaign will be introduced here as well so if you want to be ahead of the game and make use of the grant money available then please give us a call.
The funding will pay for us to assess the disease risk in your herd, to take samples to check for evidence of infection and for the associated laboratory charges up to a value of £61.80. If there is evidence of active infection in the herd then there is the opportunity to take further samples and again the laboratory charges will be grant-funded up to a value of £440. This will give you the chance to look for those persistently infected animals that are spreading disease around your herd without showing any signs. Culling these animals will see an improvement in the health and performance of your herd. Once removed then the aim will be to prevent the disease being introduced back onto your holding. Ongoing annual testing is then recommended to ensure that your herd is still disease-free. As part of the process, the results from the testing will be uploaded onto the BVD Free website free of charge. Once you have had 2 years testing with no evidence of infection then you can sell your cattle certified free of BVD.
BOVIDEC vaccine to protect your herd against BVD is no longer available so when it comes to vaccinating your herd this winter you will need to consider an alternative. BOVELA is the newer of the BVD vaccines and it offers protection against both strains (1 and 2). As it is a live vaccine cattle only need 1 dose each year, it can be used from 3 months of age and should be done at least 3 weeks before service.
We are currently having problems getting Terramycin foot sprays, but we can still get Engemycin sprays which, although containing the same antibiotic, some people find does not stay on the foot as well. We have an offer on these if you buy 6 at once they are cheaper than buying on an individual basis, and they will have a good shelf life.
There have also been problems with Tetra Delta tubes, with supplies only coming through intermittently. If you use this as a first-line treatment for mastitis then give us a call to discuss an alternative.
RISPOVAL vaccination of cattle before laying in, together with a worm dose to reduce lungworm infection is highly recommended to reduce the chances of pneumonia in your cattle after housing.
We are seeing a number of flocks with a high worm burden in lambs, some of which have been badly scouring. Dung samples will help tell us what is going on.