Animal health high on agenda

Patrick McFarlane, Zoetis with John Brodison, Larne and Jackson Wright, Poyntzpass on the Zoetis Stand at the Royal Ulster Winter Fair. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Patrick McFarlane, Zoetis with John Brodison, Larne and Jackson Wright, Poyntzpass on the Zoetis Stand at the Royal Ulster Winter Fair. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

In addition to CLARIFIDE®, Zoetis’ heifer genomic test, calf pneumonia and leptospirosis were two common topics on the Zoetis stand at the Winter Fair.

Patrick MacFarlane reported that many of the farmers he spoke to have biosecurity measures in place to help reduce the risk of exposure to leptospirosis, but they realise that this is not a fool-proof solution due to the high percentage of herds infected.

Patrick explained: “They were interested to learn that Spirovac® can be used from just four weeks of age thus protecting calves early in life. At four weeks calves should receive two doses of vaccine separated by four to six weeks, with boosters given on an annual basis after this.”

Many farmers commented on the reduction in the use of antibiotics on farm which has been highlighted in the farming press recently but there were still some who obviously hoped to save money by not vaccinating young calves. Some of these farmers have experienced pneumonia outbreaks and they were anxious to discuss the use of Rispoval® IntraNasal® which can be used from just nine days of age.

On the topic of heifer genomic testing, Patrick MacFarlane reported: “Farmers are familiar with genomic testing of bulls but were eager to have more information about their heifers. CLARIFIDE is a simple test using hair or tissue samples that allows farmers to identify which heifers will suit their system the best. This enables them to implement breeding and management strategies that drive the future success of their business.”

Patrick added: “The Winter Fair was an excellent opportunity to discuss many aspects of animal health with farmers.”