23 February 1996

Alert on joint-ill

CALF deaths from joint-ill are still common according to Tim Jones, MAFF vet investigation officer.

Speaking at a Dorset MAFF and ADAS milk producer meeting, he said calves are still sent to vet investigation centres because producers fail to recognise joint-ill as the cause of death. The disease could be prevented by hygienic calving boxes, navel treatments and adequate colostrum.

"Bedding in calving boxes should not be allowed to accumulate too much and fresh straw must be provided for each calving," he said. He advised that some bedding alternatives fail to be absorbent enough for calving boxes.

Salmonella infections in calves are also being seen and scrupulous hygiene is needed to overcome these.

"Pens must be cleaned thoroughly including the cobwebs for these harbour salmonella for up to six months," he said.