Lepto cost warning

6 March 1998

Lepto cost warning

CATTLE producers must not neglect leptospirosis vaccinations in order to cut costs as production and fertility losses will far outweigh the savings made.

Glos vet Christopher Watson, claims leptospirosis is endemic countrywide.

"Natural service, co-grazing with sheep, watercourses accessible to stock, and farm boundaries are all potential sources of infection."

Mr Watson cites MAFF trials which found unvaccinated heifers exposed to leptospirosis suffered 4% more abortions, milk yield losses of 800 litres, and a 5-10% reduction in conception rates.

"Many losses are sub-clinical and not immediately apparent. Producers who normally vaccinate should not stop just because leptospirosis has subsided – the risk is still there.

"Producers not vaccinating are generally complacent or trying to cut costs. But make sure you do not lose more money by not vaccinating before turnout."

Bristol vet Keiran OBrien says leptospirosis should not been seen as a disease of older cattle. "Calves from six months old should be included in herd screening." &#42

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