Stay on top of all vaccinations
ENSURE ewe lambs not being tupped this year, receive booster vaccinations and cattle are adequately protected against the rising threat of respiratory disease, warn animal health specialists.
Ewes would normally receive pre-lambing booster injections for pasteurella and clostridia, says independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings. "But greater numbers of ewe lambs have not been tupped this autumn.
"This follows DEFRA advice in September not to tup ewe lambs because of the uncertainty over next years light lamb exports and because non-pregnant ewes are still eligible for ewe premium. Many ewe lambs also remain in the wrong place."
These ewes may miss out on pasteurella and clostridia booster vaccinations, which is a costly mistake because producers will need to repeat the two-injection vaccination course to provide protection next year.
"It is the ewes being protected, not the supply of colostrum," says Ms Stubbings
Willie Donachie, of the Moredun Research Institute, also urges cattle producers to ensure that vaccinations are up to date because the recent weather has been ideal for respiratory disease-causing bacteria.
"The main bacteria involved in cattle respiratory disease is Pasteurella haemolytica, which accounts for about 80% of cases. But this bacteria is often found in the respiratory tract of clinically healthy animals."
Stress, ration changes and climatic factors are all additional factors, which trigger the infection, leading to respiratory disease, says Prof Donachie. "Vaccination is a wise precaution this winter to avoid the cost of respiratory disease." *