10 August 2001




There is a chance to win one

of five Ritchie cattle crushes

worth £1465 each in our joint

late-summer competition with

Schering-Plough. Just answer

the question on scour each

week, keep the answer in a

safe place and look out for

the coupon in the Aug 24

issue of farmers weekly

SCOUR is a common and expensive disease of calves in the UK. It is found on most farms and an outbreak can kill up to a third of affected calves.

How expensive is it?

The cost in terms of lost calves, though serious, is only a small proportion of the total costs of a serious outbreak.

A Scottish Agricultural Colleges study of 212 scour outbreaks affecting more than 3600 sick calves found that for every 50 calves challenged by infectious scour, 24 became ill and started costing money.

Total cost of scour, according to the researchers, was £69 a calf. This included increased cow and calf handling costs, loss in calf value due to reduced liveweight gain and the extra veterinary costs of treatment.

Causes of scour

The single biggest cause of infectious scours of calves in the UK is a virus called Rotavirus. It is found on most farms and is reckoned to affect 90-100% of cattle.

Another cause is coronavirus, which, though less common than rotavirus, has more serious effects. A third factor is the bacterium E coli, which is a leading cause of mortality in calves less than four days old.

Importance of diagnosis

It is vital that you are aware of any disease that may be present in your herd.

Your vet can help by supplying you with a free Schering-Plough Scourwatch testing kit. This allows you to find out if your herd is infected with any of the main causes of infectious scour.

Samples need to be taken within 24 hours of seeing the first signs of scouring and before the animals are treated with antibiotics. Samples are labelled and taken to your vet, who will send them to be tested and pass on the results to you.


&#8226 A vaccination programme is the only sure way to prevent future outbreaks of calf scour.

&#8226 Effective protection against rotavirus, coronavirus and E Coli begins 3-12 weeks before calving by vaccinating with Rotavec Corona.

&#8226 Unlike a vaccine requiring two injections, single shot Rotavec Corona can be administered any time during the three to 12 weeks before calving.


What is the total cost a calf of scour, according to the SAC research?

A: £22

B: £34

C: £69

Please keep a note of the answer and use it to fill in the coupon that will appear on the competition page in the Aug 24 issue of FW.


1: How are the cattle crushes to be won? Read the text and then study the question that will be published in each of the FW issues of Aug 10, 17 and 24. There will be a chance to answer all three questions and complete the tiebreaker in the coupon that will appear in the Aug 24 issue.

2: The prize is one of five Ritchie cattle crushes worth £1465 each.

No cash alternatives are available.

3: The decision of the judges and of the editor of farmers weekly will in all matters be final and legally binding.

No correspondence can be entered into.

4: The completed entry forms are the property of farmers weekly and Schering-Plough Animal Health.

5: The competition is open to all farmers, farm managers and contractors in Great Britain.

6: Closing date for receiving completed coupons is Fri, Sept 7.

They should be addressed to farmers weekly/Rotavec competition,

farmers weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS.

POM. For further information and advice consult your veterinary

surgeon. Schering-Plough Animal Health, Breakspear Rd South, Harefield, Uxbridge, Middx UB9 6LS.

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