MSD Animal Health used the opportunity of the Royal Ulster Winter Fair to engage with farmers and discuss the important role vaccination plays in the health of young dairy calves.
Ian Graham, MSD Animal Health said: “The Winter Fair is an excellent opportunity to meet with Northern Ireland farmers and learn about their needs and concerns as well as discuss the benefits of vaccination can have on their businesses.
“We have really focused in on dairy calf health this year because the issues facing cattle farmers remain concerning. Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) is a consistent health issue on Northern Ireland dairy farms each year and the biggest killer of calves between one and five months old.
“We are keen to remind farmers that calves from approximately two weeks of age onwards can be vaccinated against BRD – a commonly employed regime being to administer Bovilis Bovipast RSP® from two weeks of age, with a second dose given four weeks later.
“The broad protection Bovilis Bovipast RSP provides against two common viruses, Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) and Parainfluenza-3 virus (PI3), and against Mannheimia haemolytica (Pasteurella) can be further boosted at housing the following autumn.
“Another advantage of this regime is that Bovilis IBR® marker live can be given from three weeks old at the same time as Bovipast if IBR control is required on farm,” Mr Graham said.
MSD Animal Health also shared advice on how vaccinating pregnant cows between 12 and three weeks before calving with Rotavec Corona®, helps protect young calves through the colostrum of the mother (Maternally derived antibodies).
Benefits include the reduction of the severity of diarrhoea caused by E coli F5 (K99), reduced incidence of scours caused by rotavirus and reduced shedding of virus by calves infected with rotavirus or coronavirus.
“It is essential that farmers review their vaccination regime with their veterinary surgeon to make sure they are protecting against the correct pathogens and administering the vaccine at the correct time, via the correct route,” Mr Graham continued.
“We would like to thank everyone who stopped by our stand at this year’s Royal Ulster Winter Fair – as always it was a very useful and enjoyable event in the local farming calendar. We would like to wish all customers and end users of our products a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2018,” he added.