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Beef Buzz News


Merck Rolling Out Innovative Products for Beef Cattle Producers

Fri, 03 Dec 2021 10:58:14 CST

Merck Rolling Out Innovative Products for Beef Cattle Producers Bovine Respiratory Disease is one of the most common and costly diseases fought by U.S. beef cattle producers. Affecting around 21%, or about 2.29 million cattle each year, it costs the U.S. beef cattle industry up to $900 million annually in losses due to death, reduced feed efficiency and treatment. Merck Animal Health is on the frontlines with cattle producers, fighting BRD.

Dr. Justin Welsh, executive director of Food Animal Technical Services at Merck Animal Health, told Radio Oklahoma's own KC Sheperd, about some new products available through Merck to identify early signs of BRD and treat the disease.

"We have a new product called Bovilis Nasalgen 3-PMH; it is a first-of-its-kind vaccine," Welsh said. "It is not the first intra-nasal vaccine, but we have advanced the (technology) to where now, we have the first of its kind which includes both viral and bacterial pathogens that are preventative for BRD."

The new intra-nasal vaccine is easy on cattle and effective, according to Welsh.

Thinking outside the box, Merck's Animal Health and Intelligence team has developed Whisper On Arrival, a new precision technology that identifies calves who are likely to respond to antimicrobial therapy for BRD control.

"I think this is very exciting," Welsh said. "Historically, all calves on arrival (who we would call) higher-risk cattle, received a dose of antibiotics."

Whisper On Arrival is a wand-like tool with six microphones on it that is paired to a tablet device. When placed behind the shoulder of an animal it monitors lung sound, heart sound, body temperature and body weight in about eight seconds and then notifies the user to simply "treat" or "Do Not Treat."

"It may sound counter-intuitive for a company that sells antibiotics," Welsh said. "In our initial research we found that depending on the risk level of the calf, we can reduce the use of antibiotics by 11% to 45% on arrival. In the end, that is a huge deal for (producers') bottom line."

Welsh said the whole premise around the new technology from Merck is to detect BRD before cattle are exhibiting visible symptoms while saving producers money.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from KC Sheperd and Justin Welsh as they talk about new products available to treat BRD from Merck Animal Health.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

Photo: The Whisper On Arrival sensor by Merck Animal Health.
   

   

Listen to KC's conversation with Dr. Welsh here.
right-click to download mp3

 

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