Auburn University Vet Paul Walz Explains How to Develop a Prioritized Vaccine Plan for Your HerdTue, 09 Oct 2018 10:48:52 CDT
Cattle health affects their everyday performance, but producers must find a balance in the need for vaccine efficacy and safety when deciding the main risk to well-being on their operation.
“For producers that are worried about BVD and IBR and other viruses, if there’s a risk that those viruses could enter their cattle operation, they probably need to limit that risk by focusing on efficacy and having a product, a vaccine product, that is proven to be highly effective at stopping the virus,” said Veterinarian, professor and coordinator at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, Paul Walz.
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Decisions made for safety especially pertain to risk for maintaining pregnancies in the herd.
“For those producers that are doing a great job with biosecurity, testing incoming animals, controlling movement of people, animals and wildlife on their farm, there may be more of a move to the safety side of things where they don’t need to have the most efficacious product because they’re doing a good or great job with controlling things and they really want to have something that’s highly safe,” Walz said.
The level of risk within an operation should first be assessed before choosing an approach.
“So, there are several tools available. One, the Kansas State University Beef Cattle Institute has a risk assessment tool that producers can use online. It’s a series of questions that they have to answer, and they can kind of get an idea of what their risk is for having these viruses introduced on their farms. And that really helps,” he explained. “The other thing that really helps is just to take a step back and think about some of the things that they do. One of the riskiest behaviors, as it relates to having BVD virus come onto a farm, is purchasing pregnant replacement females.”
Recent research supports annual vaccinations of spring-calving cows in the fall, if they started as heifers with two pre-breeding rounds of a modified live virus and depending on products used.
“One question that we often get is whether we can rely on vaccination at pregnancy check to forego the vaccination that might be done in a pre-breeding situation in the spring on those cows,” Walz concluded. “In this recent study, I think we now have a piece of data that would suggest it is possible, and it could be an economically viable option for those producers that simply cannot get those cows up and vaccinated in the spring in a pre-breeding situation.”
Weighing the risk and rewards, producers can work with their veterinarian to formulate a quality health management plan to match their quality beef goals.
Source - Certified Angus Beef
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