Veterinary Congress Issues Advice

UK - Artificial colostrum supplements and fluke monitoring were the subject of studies announced at the eighth British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) congress.
calendar icon 19 November 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

The event aims to present new information across the industry and is broadly aimed at all professionals concerned with Healthy Cattle, Healthy Food and Healthy People.

Talking for BCVA,Dr Murray Corke from Cambridge vet school presented a small study looking at the use of artificial colostrum supplements, reports DairyCo.

He looked at the immunoglobulin content of various commercially available colostrum supplements made up as per the manufacturers instructions.

He found that there was massive variability in the quantity of immunoglobulin in the products.

The studie's main message is that farmers should do all they can to use their own colostrum for their calves whether fresh or frozen before using colostrum supplements. DairyCo recommend this becuase of the variable content, the fact that the antibodies contained are not specific to the farm diseases and cost.

Johne's Disease

Also showcased was a study by Dr James Hanks of the University of Reading. The paper looked into improving the reliability of 30 cow screens for Johne's disease. Dr Hanks said they have found that cows which are in lactation 3 or above have persistent high somatic cell counts and have lower than expected milk yields. The efficacy of the 30 cow screen will pick up approximately 95 per cent of infected herds.


The congress also included information about fears that faecal egg counts alone are not enough to indicate whether animals need parasite treatment. Faecal egg counts give a good indicator of pasture contamination but live weight gain of young stock should be referenced to give a measure of parasite impact.

Rumen fluke which is a different type of fluke form the liver form is on the increase the, BCVA warned. According to Veterinary experts it can be seen as scouring calves on pasture in the late summer/early autumn.

For more information about the BCVA click here

Further Reading

Go to our previous news item on Liver Fluke by clicking here.

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