Dear Business Partner,
In this 44th edition of Lionel’s News, Friesland Campina advises on what is a good dry period for your cow as well as the cation-anion balance. We also cover the correct use of antibiotics, as published in Livestock Matters, a UK Vet Practice magazine. The article focuses on using the right product, the right course of treatment and an action plan for change. Lastly, we focus on the importance of single-use needles in relation to disease control.
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The importance of single-use needles in relation to disease control
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is no new kid on the block, but its presence on dairy farms seems to be growing. Ron Erskine, D.V.M., from Michigan State University, kicked off the Minnesota Dairy Health Conference talking about this often silent but impactful disease.
“We’re not on a good trend in terms of cows infected with BLV,” Erskine said. In 1996, a NAHMS study found that 89 percent of farms had infected cows. A 2010 Michigan field study found similar results, as 87 percent of herds were infected. On those farms, an average of 33 percent of cows were carrying the virus.
Despite its prevalence, BLV is easy to ignore, since less than 5% of positive cattle actually develop tumors (lymphosarcoma). “A majority of infected cows don’t show any symptoms,” Erskine said. “But that’s the problem. No one knows unless you test.”
Whether a cow shows symptoms or not, she can be affected by the disease. Looking at both NAHMS data and the more recent Michigan study, Erskine pointed out an association between herd BLV prevalence and milk per cow per year. For every 10% increase in BLV prevalence, a herd experiences a reduction in milk of approx. 99L per cow. If a herd has a 40% infection rate, that’s approx. 399L of milk lost per cow per year.
The Michigan study found that milk losses were more apparent in older cows. Beyond milk production, BLV can affect cow longevity, cause genetic losses (from early culling), lower immune response and, in general, negatively impact cow health.
While BLV can be difficult to eliminate from a herd, Erskine pointed to practices that can help reduce the risk:
- Single-use palpation sleeves, or at least new sleeves after known BLV-positive cows
- Single use of needles
- Heat- or freeze-treated colostrum or milk fed to calves
- Good fly control
- Avoiding natural breeding with infected bulls
- Testing purchased animals
Proper rearing of calves starts with a good dry period management of the cow. This is, after all, the basis of qualitatively and quantitatively good colostrum. But what is the definition of a good dry period? Read more>
Phibro Animal Health Corporation announced it is pursuing patent protection following a significant advance in the ongoing development of a vaccine for African swine fever (ASF). Read more>
Different antibiotics are effective against different types of bacteria and a wide variety of diagnostic tools are used to identify the type of bacteria causing an infection. An antibiotic’s activity may be either concentration-dependent, or time-dependent, and this dictates the treatment course that is prescribed. Read more>
With dry weather and avian influenza, ostrich farming in South Africa has had to adapt to difficult conditions to main viable. Although it’s the undisputed world centre of ostrich production, South Africa’s ranges have faced a number of challenges in recent years – but the country’s farmers have moved quickly to meet them. Read more>