26 September 1997

Campaign for calf survival

IMPROVING calf survival is the focus of a campaign to be launched by MAFF next month, according to ADAS welfare specialist Brian Pocknee.

He told visitors that 6% of the 4m calves born each year die before they reach six months. "Thats an unacceptable level of mortality in terms of welfare and profitability," said Dr Pocknee.

He put the cost of calf mortality and disease at about £55m/year.

He said that good husbandry was essential to successful calf rearing. That started with adequate cow nutrition in late pregnancy. Also important were cleanliness and care at birth, an early and adequate intake of colostrum, careful feeding, and well ventilated housing.

ADASs Brian Pocknee: Calf mortality and disease costs £55m higher.