Parasite Risk in #Sheep, #Cattle with Warm Weather


Dairy and beef cattle are at risk of husk, caused by infection with the cattle lungworm from June onwards. Unvaccinated calves, naïve adult cattle and those without an effective anthelmintic programme face the greatest threat.

Early signs of lungworm include coughing after periods of exertion and progress to more severe compromise, with coughing at rest, increased respiratory rate, and difficulty breathing. Prompt recognition and treatment is critical.

“Early intervention significantly reduces costs and the impact on productivity. A diagnosis should be sought from the farm’s vet at the first sign of symptoms, “ advises Sioned. “Treatment with a fast acting zero milk withhold wormer with up to 28 days of persistent activity, such as Eprinex® (eprinomectin) provides effective control without the loss of milk sales.”

Incidents of parasitic disease caused by gutworms, including Ostertagia ostertagi, peak in August and September, though even low levels of worm challenge can reduce growth rates by up to 30% in beef calves and dairy replacement heifers.

Strategic control with a broad-spectrum wormer such as IVOMEC® Classic (ivermectin) can reduce the impact of parasites in autumn/winter born calves in their first grazing season, and spring-born suckler claves in their second grazing season. Those animals receiving strategic treatments must remain set stocked for the entire grazing period or moved to aftermaths when they become available. read more…

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Ireland is near the bottom of the European league in the use of antibiotics in animals


Irish livestock has among the lowest antibiotics use in the EU, veterinarian Fergal Morris told the MSD Animal Health conference in Dublin.

Mr Morris, director of ruminant business with MSD Animal Health, said Irish agriculture is in a good position to deal with EU legislation restricting antibiotic use in food animals, due to be introduced over the next three years.

“A recent EU report shows that Ireland is near the bottom of the European league in the use of antibiotics in animals,” said Mr Morris. “Irish farmers use one-eighth the amount of antibiotics used by farmers in Spain on a per animal basis, which is the highest user of antibiotics in the EU.

“Farmers in Italy use seven times more antibiotics than their Irish counterparts while the average German farmer uses three times more than the average Irish producer.”

Mr Morris said that Ireland’s lower usage of antibiotics is a reflection of the country’s grass-based milk, beef and sheep farming and relatively low levels of intensive pig, as well as poultry, production.

“Even Ireland’s pig and poultry producers are much lower users of antibiotics than their EU counterparts,” he said. “This is due to the strict biosecurity policies which are used by producers combined with a big increase in recent years in vaccination of pigs and poultry to protect against the major disease threats.”

He referred to the strides across many EU countries to curb antibiotic use in farm animals. Dutch farmers have cut antibiotic use by more than 50% in the past seven years. However, overall EU antibiotic use is still around 50% higher than in Ireland.

“In the Netherlands and Belgium, use of critically important antibiotics has been cut by more than 90%,” said Mr Morris. “Critically important antibiotics are products such as third- and fourth-generation cephalosporin’s and fluoroquinolones, which are vital components in human medicine. A similar initiative on further reducing antibiotic use in Irish farming is also getting underway.”

The use of preventative vaccines has more than doubled in Ireland in the past decade, creating healthier animals which need less antibiotic intervention. story from…

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Antibiotic abuse in livestock



Antibiotics are increasingly used in farming systems in Kenya as famers give them to animals and chicken to prevent them from getting sick.

The law requires that the drugs are only given to the farmer after prescription from a registered veterinary surgeon but they end up in famers hands from shops that sell them to farmers illegally.

Dr Tuimur blamed this on the veterinarians.

“The fate of microbial resistance is as much in your hands as animal owners, as it is in the hands of the professionals who serve you, and the people who supply antibiotics to you illegally,” said the Livestock PS in his speech.

Prof Kariuki said veterinarians also fall prey to the pressure from farmers who demand that they are given antibiotics.

He said: “The farmer tells the vet that the last time the animals showed those signs they were given a certain drug and they got well and so they demand for that particular drug.”

Dr Indraph Ragwa, from KVB said prescriptions for anti-biotics are usually accompanied with directions on how to use them.

“Using antibiotics on animals comes with instructions such as not to take milk or meat from that animal for a certain period of time, and only a qualified person would know that,” he said.

However, Dr Ragwa said, science has not directly linked cancer to the consumption of meat and milk from animals that have been exposed to antibiotics.

Dr Ragwa added that farmers lose their animals in the hands of quacks, especially when performing complex procedures such as Caesarian section on cows.

“They want money, and when the animal dies, the famer loses a livelihood as well as the money,” he said.

Livestock play a huge role in food security and thus more exposure to people.

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Livestock > Cattle > Cattle Health > Antibiotics

#Livestock Horn Fly Management


With summer grazing season almost here, now is the time to prepare a horn fly management plan. Developing an effective plan requires some knowledge about the fly’s habits, life cycle, economic impact, and available control strategies.

United States livestock producers lose over $1 billion annually to the horn fly, making it one of the most damaging ectoparasites of pastured cattle. Horn fly feeding cause’s dermal irritation, anemia, decreased feed intake leading to reduced weight gains, and diminished milk production. Horn flies have also been implicated in the spread of summer mastitis. Furthermore, an estimated $60 million is spent annually on insecticidal control. Studies conducted in Nebraska have established calf weaning weights were 10-20 pounds higher when horn flies were controlled on mother cows. The horn fly also affects yearling cattle reducing yearling weights by much as 18 percent. The economic injury level (EIL) for horn flies is 200 flies per animal. An economic injury level is when the economic impact of the pest equals treatment costs. During the summer horn fly numbers on untreated Nebraska cattle can exceed several thousand.

Horn flies are small in size, approximately 3/16” in length and are usually found on backs, sides, and poll area of cattle. During a warm summer afternoon they can be found on the belly region of cattle. Horn flies, both male and female, acquire more than 30 blood meals per day. After mating the female fly will leave the animal to deposit eggs in fresh cattle manure. Eggs hatch within one week, and larvae feed and mature in the manure, pupating in the soil beneath the manure pat. Newly emerged horn flies can travel several miles searching for a host. The entire life cycle can be completed in 10 to 20 days depending upon the weather. read more…


How are producers keeping animals healthy, as livestock antibiotics use declines ?


As antibiotics have become more widely used and powerful, so have the illnesses they were designed to fight. And an outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant “superbug” is a real fear of many — including consumers, legislators and meat processors.

More people using more antibiotics for more illnesses has helped give germs the impetus to strengthen. However, consumers are also exposed to the antibiotics given to the animals used in the meat they eat. Just as some doctors are now less likely to grab their prescription pad for patients with minor illnesses, many meat producers are now adopting strategies to use fewer antibiotics on their livestock.

Regardless of whether medicine or meat is more at fault in creating the “superbug” threat, meat processors are figuring out how to balance their use of antibiotics with general public opinion. While many companies have chosen to reduce or eliminate their use of antibiotics, others have chosen to promote transparency of their antibiotics use to dispel myths and better inform consumers.

Getting rid of antibiotics — or not

Most companies have opted to make changes in their supply chain to reduce or eliminate antibiotics.

“We’re doing this because it’s the most responsible approach to balance a global health concern and animal well-being,” Worth Sparkman, public relations manager at Tyson Foods, told Food Dive. “…We want to be part of the solution.”

Cargill has insisted on focusing its efforts around “science-based and fact-based solutions.”

“We want to be thoughtful about how we approach the reduction of antibiotics, as there are usually consequences for doing so,” Michael Martin, director of communications at Cargill, told Food Dive. “(They include) higher death loss, increased use of antibiotics at higher doses for therapeutic use to treat disease, increased production costs and an increased volume of resources used to raise livestock and poultry.”

What alternatives they’re using

Poultry processors in particular have employed a number of alternatives to antibiotics to treat sick animals and prevent the spread of disease.

  • Essential oils: Cargill announced in January that the company had developed a proprietary blend of essential oils, called the Promote Biacid Nucleus feed additive. Sparkman said Tyson has also explored using essential oils in its efforts to replace certain antibiotics.
  • Improved feed products: Cargill has developed feed products that can improve animal health without the need for antibiotic treatments.
  • Industry best practices for health and hygiene
  • Routine health examinations
  • Veterinary advice, particularly about disease prevention
  • Improved animal genetics
  • Enhanced animal handling and management practices
  • Proven biosecurity measures
  • Vaccines

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UK sets new antibiotics target for livestock and fish


UK has backed the recommendation of an independent review calling for a further cut in antibiotic use in livestock and fish farmed for food to help combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The Government said it is committed to a target of reducing antibiotic use to a “multi-species average of 50mg/kg, using methodology harmonised across other countries in Europe”, by 2018.

The target, which the Government said compares to the most recent 2014 level of 62mg/kg of antibiotic use, is in response to the findings of an AMR review set up by former prime minister David Cameron and led by Lord Jim O’Neill.

In a joint foreword to a Government report responding to the review’s findings, Andrea Leadsom, the UK’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Jeremy Hunt, the country’s Health Secretary, said: “There is a real risk that, if we do nothing, modern medicine as we know it will be undermined.”

The ministers said: “Jim O’Neill is a distinguished economist and has brought not only the skills and analysis of an economist to the problem of drug resistance, but also his understanding of emerging economies. He has identified the huge scale of the challenge, but also the concrete steps we can and must take.”

The UK “will work closely with different individual sectors to ensure that appropriate sector specific reduction targets are agreed by 2017 so that future reductions are greatest where there is most scope, and that they are underpinned by improvements which focus on encouraging best practice and responsible use of antibiotics and which safeguard animal health and welfare”, the government report said. Read more…


Farmers are reminded to check their livestock for signs of bloat.


With the expected flush of spring growth predicted this spring, farmers are reminded to check their livestock for signs of bloat.

Bloat occurs in cattle following rapid consumption of lush, fast growing, immature, legume-dominant pastures such as clover or lucerne.

It is much less common on grass dominant pastures.

Bloat is caused by an increase in gas pressure within the rumen as feeds are fermented.

The gas builds up in the rumen as small bubbles or foam, which cannot be belched out when the animal chews its cud.

The first sign of bloat is a tight distended abdomen, mainly on the left side.

Or you might find many bloated animals dead in the paddock.

Death occurs due to the pressure of the rumen on the lungs and major blood vessels, leading to lung and heart failure.

Death can occur quickly, sometimes within 30 minutes of grazing dangerous pastures, so the emphasis must be on prevention rather than treatment.

To prevent hungry cattle gorging themselves on risky pastures, feed your cattle on hay prior to access to these paddocks.

In addition, a range of medications are available to help prevent bloat.

These include bloat blocks, bloat licks, medicated capsules, medicated water supply, drenching and pasture spraying.

The suitability of each prevention method varies depending upon the circumstance.

Many bloat deaths may actually be due to pulpy kidney.

Bloat slows down the passage of food through the gut allowing the pulpy kidney bacteria to multiply and kill the cow.

All cows should have an annual vaccination of “5 in 1” for pulpy kidney and other clostridia.

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