(Jamie) Welcome back as Dr. John Davidson with Boehringer Ingelheim shares information about the early prevention of BRD.
(Davidson) The economic impact of bovine respiratory disease has really no other competition in terms of significance. The cost to the industry is estimated at well over a billion dollars. (Bob) Mortality and morbidity related to BRD are on the rise. That’s the bad news. The good news? Prevention works. (Davidson) Timing is critical. The respiratory disease is very rapid, if the calf doesn’t receive the vaccinations until arrival, quite oftentimes the pathogen has been incubating during that time and the stress of co-mingling say when they enter the market channels and then transportation to a grow yard or a stocker operation for example, so if we can go back a step and administer those critical vaccines at an earlier stage in that calf’s life to insure that they have been exposed to the vaccines to give them protection against those challenges, that is really the focus that the industry needs to adopt. (Bob) Studies show that calfhood vaccination as early as 2 months of age can be effective. (Davidson) We know that when a calf hits the ground, the immune system is fully functional. The immune response gets stronger as that calf matures, there is data to suggest that a calf can be vaccinated at a time earlier than what is traditionally accepted. (Bob) Working with a veterinarian on a whole-herd health program can help match vaccination programs to existing threats. (Davidson) A few dollars spent early in that calf’s life translates into, not just a better consumer experience with the relationship that we know health has on carcass quality, but there is also the feeling that that contribution, that health input improves the life of the calf. The likelihood that that calf is going to get sick and either get pulled and treated or succumb to respiratory disease, the odds of that happening goes down as we do a better job preparing that calf’s immune system at those critical phases prior to marketing and transportation. (Bob) And that has value to everyone in the beef community. I’m Bob Cervera.
(Jamie) Thanks for joining us. I’m your host Jamie Bloom and I hope you enjoyed today’s show. See you next week on Farm Factor – we’re here every Tuesday on AGam in Kansas.