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Tackling calf scour – Time to think vaccination

The newborn calf will face many infectious diseases in the early stages of life, with calf scour being one of the most common challenges.

Creating a calf health plan now, will help reduce the risk of calf scour occurring in the first place. For Cork dairy farmer, James Murphy, this means making sure colostrum is of the highest quality, in addition to ensuring good environmental hygiene and management on farm.

James highlights the key steps he is taking in preparation for calving 2022 and why vaccination plays such an integral role in his calf health plan to reduce the risk of calf scour occurring on his farm.

Good Colostrum Management – Key to preventing calf scour 

Calves are most at risk of calf scour during the first 4 weeks of life; therefore, rely entirely on good high-quality colostrum for protection.

Paul Ryan, Vet Practitioner with Waterside Vets, Co. Limerick, said that “to achieve adequate protection from calf scour, we recommend vaccinating the cow or heifer with the Bovilis Scour Vaccine 12-3 weeks prior to calving.

“This will allow her to increase the concentration of antibodies produced in colostrum antibodies against the main calf scour causing pathogens,” said Paul.

It is critical that the calf receives three litres of good-quality colostrum as soon as possible after birth. The calf should also be fed within the first two hours of birth, to obtain the necessary antibodies which will kick start the calf’s immune system and protect against disease. 

According to James, “vaccinating the cows prior to calving gives us an extra boost of confidence going into the calving period as we know the colostrum contains the critical antibodies to reduce the risk of calf scour.

“We place a big emphasis on getting the colostrum right and into the calf as soon as possible after birth. We operate the 1,2,3 rule of colostrum, and use a Brix Refractometer to ensure calves receive high-quality colostrum with a reading greater than 22%.”  

Calf health programme to reduce calf scour

The direct cost of treating calf scour can be easily determined from treatment costs and losses, but the overall indirect losses, such as reduced growth rates and labour requirements, are often underestimated.

“We vaccinate against calf scour for two main reasons: Animal welfare and labour. We don’t want the animals getting sick, and from an animal performance point of view, it is important that they reach their target growth rates. Sick calves also add to the workload at an already busy time of year,” explained James. 

He continues, “since vaccinating with the Bovilis Scour Vaccine, we have had no sick calves and there is less pressure on the animals as well as the people working on the farm.”

It is important to remember that calf scour vaccination is not a substitute for good hygiene, housing, and environmental factors. Every attempt should be made to keep housing clean and dry, and reduce draughts, where possible.

All feeding equipment should be disinfected after every milk feeding and calf pens should be cleaned out, power washed and disinfected between batches of calves to reduce the build-up of bugs. 

Bovilis Scour Vaccine – At A Glance

calf scour
  • Single shot primary course.
  • Low dose volume (2ml shot).
  • Intramuscular administration.
  • Broad window of vaccination (Vaccinate pregnant cows 12-3 weeks pre-calving).
  • Reduces the severity of diarrhoea caused by E. coli (K99).
  • Reduces the incidence of scours caused by rotavirus.
  • Reduces the shedding of virus by calves infected with rotavirus and coronavirus.
  • Unique 28 day in-use shelf life.
  • Reduce the risk of breakage with new PET bottles.
  • Available in 5, 20 and now 50 dose packs.

For more information, visit the MSD Animal Health scour page or talk to your vet about the Bovilis Scour Vaccine.


Bovilis Scour Vaccine – The leading calf scour vaccine

The Bovilis Scour Vaccine is a single-shot injectable vaccination, given to pregnant cows to subsequently help protect the calf from diarrhoea caused by rotavirus, coronavirus and E. coli (k99), once the calf has been fed sufficient colostrum.

The Bovilis Scour Vaccine is a single 2ml vaccine. It is administered to pregnant cattle 12 – 3 weeks prior to calving. It is given into the muscle of the animal.

scour vaccine

The Bovilis Scour Vaccine will stimulate the dam to produce antibodies which will protect the calf against rotavirus, coronavirus and E.coli (K99). These antibodies will be stored in the dam’s colostrum. The dam will pass these antibodies to the calf through the colostrum at the first milk feeding.

This is why is is crucial that the calf receives adequate colostrum as soon as possible after birth.

Remember the 1,2,3 rule when feeding colostrum. In the 1st 2 hours, ensure the calf gets at least 3 litres of colostrum. Feeding the calf good quality colostrum will enhance the protection of the calf against these scour causing pathogens.

New additions to the Bovilis Scour Vaccine

The Bovilis Scour Vaccine has undergone some recent changes. The following are some of the changes to note:

  • The vaccine pack has changed from blue to purple packaging.
  • A new 50 dose pack size, is now available to complement our current 5 dose and 20 dose presentations and to support use whatever the herd size.
  • All presentations are being transitioned from glass to a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle, instead of glass vials, to reduce the risk of breakage.
scour vaccine

Bovilis Scour Vaccine – How does it work?

  • Single shot primary course
  • Low dose volume (2ml shot)
  • Intramuscular (IM) administration
  • Broad window of vaccination (Vaccinate pregnant cows 12-3 weeks pre-calving)
scour vaccine

Why choose the Bovilis Scour Vaccine?

  • Reduces the severity of diarrhoea caused by E. coli (K99)
  • Reduces the incidence of scours caused by rotavirus
  • Reduces the shedding of virus by calves infected with rotavirus and coronavirus
  • Unique 28 day in-use shelf life
  • Reduces the risk of breakage with new PET bottles
  • Available in 5, 20 and now 50 dose packs

NEW calf scour guide

Want to learn more about calf scour and how you can use the Bovilis Scour Vaccine to protect your calves against scour? Check out our NEW Calf Scour Guide by scrolling through the PDF document below.

Ask your vet about our new Calf Scour Guide and how you can use the Bovilis Scour Vaccine to help reduce the risk of calf scour occurring on your farm.


Announcement: Prevention for Profit competition

MSD Animal Health are delighted to announce the two overall champions of this year’s Prevention for Profit competition.

This year the competition was aimed at progressive sheep farmers who felt they were maximising their profitability by focusing on the four key pillars of production. These four key pillars are nutrition, breeding, animal health and management.

William Clarke was selected as the overall lowland champion of the competition. From just outside Ardrums, Co. Meath, William farms along side his father David.

William is a young farmer, mid-season lambing 570 ewes and ewe lambs. William excelled in the competition and provided a very clear rationale as to why he was taking particular steps on his farm.

William and his father place a strong emphasis on the health of their flock and are vaccinating against enzootic abortion, toxoplasmosis, pasteurella and clostridial diseases.

Check out the video below to hear more on why the judges chose William as the overall lowland champion of the competition.

Martin Hopkins was selected as the overall hill champion of the competition. His farm outside Drummin, Co. Mayo extends to 120 acres (48.6ha) of enclosed hill ground along with enclosed commonage grazing.

He is farming 300 Mayo-Blackface ewes and like William places a strong emphasis on his flock’s health to ensure they perform in the terrain in which they are run.

Listen to Martin, and why the judges selected him as the overall hill champion, by checking out the video below.

Three farmers were selected as champions from each category and the six finalists were judged by a panel of judges on the four pillars of production.

For more information on all six finalists, click here.

The Prevention for Profit concept is part of a global MSD animal health initiative which is called ‘#TimeToVaccinate’.

The ‘Time to Vaccinate’ initiative focuses on the use of preventative practices to ensure the well-being of farm animals and the sustainable production of meat, dairy and lamb.

It supports farmers who have already adopted vaccination, as well as farmers who want to learn more about how vaccination can improve animal health, productivity and subsequently profitability.

For more information on the #TimeToVaccinate initiative please click here.


Meet the 6 champions of this year’s Pr€vention for Profit competition

This year the Pr€vention for Profit competition is focused on sheep. The competition is aimed at sheep farmers who are maximising their on-farm profitability by focusing on the four pillars of production – nutrition, breeding, animal health and management.

The competition is divided into two categories, lowland and hill sheep farming systems. Three lowland and three hill sheep farmers have been chosen as champions.

The six champions are being assessed by a panel of judges on the four pillars of production and the two winning champions (one lowland and one hill) will win an all expenses paid study tour to Scotland in summer, 2022.

Scroll through the document below to meet all of this year’s champions!

Keep and eye out in the 21st of October’s Irish Farmers Journal where we will be announcing the winners of the competition.


Salmonella vaccination a vital investment for Co. Waterford farmer

Salmonella is a significant disease on Irish dairy farms and can greatly impact on herd productivity and profitability. The implications include high abortion rates, high calf mortality, reduced growth rates and depressed fertility in animals that do overcome the infection. It is also a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transferred easily from animals to humans.

Tom Power, Dairy Farmer, Waterford

One farmer who doesn’t take any risks when it comes to Salmonella is Waterford farmer, Tom Power. Farming in Drumhills, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Tom is milking a herd of 300 cows in a spring-calving system.

In the video below, Tom outlines the importance of Salmonella control on his farm and why vaccinating with Bovilis® Bovivac® S has become a critical component of his herd management programme.

“The herd is at a size now, where we can’t take any chances with their health and that’s why we vaccinate against Salmonella. Like most farmers do, we put a huge amount of time and effort into getting the cows into calf, so keeping them in calf is our number one priority,” says Tom.   

No farm is risk free

According to Tom’s local Veterinary Practitioner, Declan Gilchrist from Deise Vets in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, “no farm is risk free. Just because you haven’t had Salmonella on your farm before, doesn’t mean you are protected from it.”

Vaccination against Salmonella

Currently in Ireland, Bovilis® Bovivac® S is the only vaccine available for the control of salmonellosis in cattle. Healthy calves from approximately three weeks of age can receive the primary vaccination course of two 2ml injections separated by an interval of 14 to 21 days.

Calves over six months of age and adult cattle should receive two 5ml injections 21 days apart. All cattle vaccinated with the primary vaccination course of Bovilis® Bovivac® S should receive a 5ml injection at least two weeks prior to each period of risk or at intervals of no more than 12 months thereafter.

Tom concludes: “We try to give each animal a chance and by vaccinating against Salmonella every year, we are reducing the risk of illness and ensuring the cow’s health and performance is not impacted. As it is a zoonotic disease, vaccination also possibly lowers the risk to anyone working here on the farm.”

Reasons to control Salmonella 

There are two strains of Salmonella to be aware of for your herd. Salmonella dublin (S dublin) is the most common type associated with abortion in cattle in Ireland and has a high carrier status. Salmonella typhimurium is more commonly associated with diarrhoea outbreaks but can be a cause of abortions.

As well as causing abortions, clinical signs can vary from very mild diarrhoea to those which show obvious signs of fever, dehydration, and profuse diarrhoea, followed by death in a few days.

Clinical outbreaks in young calves can often resemble pneumonia. Acute infections can become chronic and may result in poor thrive, chronic diarrhoea, and terminal dry gangrene.

Salmonella is a significant disease on Irish dairy farms. It can survive for up to two years in the right conditions and the disease is shed mostly in faeces.

In many cases, cows that are infected with Salmonella will often appear clinically normal and Salmonella can survive for up to two years in the right conditions and the disease is shed mostly in faeces. In many cases, cows that are infected with

Salmonella will often appear clinically normal and healthy. It is common when these animals become stressed that they begin shedding the bacteria, infecting other cows, or getting sick themselves. 

Hygiene and biosecurity to control Salmonella

Vaccination is critical; however, to maximise animal immunity and minimise exposure, it must coincide with the strict management measures outlined below.

  • Maintain a closed herd.
  • If buying in, quarantine arrivals for a period of four weeks minimum.
  • Strict biosecurity should be particularly maintained around cases.
  • Faecal material from clinical cases must not enter the slurry tank.
  • A disinfection point should be in place for everyone who enters and leaves the farm to use.
  • A rodent and bird control plan should be in place, especially regarding access to feed stores.
  • Hygiene of buildings between batches of animals is also critical.

For more information about controlling Bovine Salmonellosis in your herd talk to your vet or visit Salmonella – Bovilis – MSD Animal Health


WATCH: Pre-weaning tips, vaccination protocols and BEEP-S overview

Watch: See the videos highlighting some pre-weaning tips, suitable vaccination protocols and an overview on the BEEP-S scheme.
Watch: BEEP-S overview and how to correctly qualify for payment if you selected vaccination under Action 2 of the scheme. The scheme requirements are the same for 2021 as 2020.

The objective of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme for Sucklers (BEEP-S) is to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd though improvement in the quantity and quality of performance data that is collected.

One of the voluntary measures under Action 2 of the BEEP-S is vaccination. The objective of this action is for farmers to implement a vaccination programme to reduce the incidence of bovine respiratory disease caused by certain viruses and bacteria otherwise known as pathogens. Bovine Respiratory Disease or BRD as it is also known, refers to diseases that affect the respiratory system of cattle. The best-known example of BRD in cattle is pneumonia.

Watch: Suzanne Naughton highlights some pre-weaning tips and suitable vaccination protocols ahead of the upcoming weaning/housing/sale period

It is advised that all applicants should consult with their attending veterinary practitioner for the most suitable vaccination programme for their farm. To qualify for payment, date of vaccine administration and purchase receipts must be kept on file and made available to Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) upon inspection.

Why is vaccination part of this programme?

A correctly timed vaccination programme in conjunction with correct animal management can have both an economic and labour-saving result for the farmer.

Vaccination programmes can:

  • Improve the welfare of the animals. Vaccines can reduce the risk of an animal becoming infected by certain disease pathogens
  • Reduce the risk of animals becoming ill which reduces the need for antibiotic treatment
  • Protect animals during risk periods. Examples are weaning, housing, mixing of groups, transport, mart trade etc.
  • Reduce sick days for animals while also maintaining thrive, allowing animals to reach key target weights

Studies show beef cattle with obvious signs of pneumonia can take over 59 days longer to finish than healthy animals. Even animals showing little or no sickness can be suffering from subclinical respiratory disease which will increase finishing times to slaughter. See figure 1 below:

Figure 1. Negative effects of BRD on finishing times1

Purpose of Action 2 – vaccination

If you selected vaccination as part of Action 2 of the programme you will need to familiarise yourself with the disease pathogens you are trying to protect your cattle against, the vaccines suitable for the programme and their protocols. Let’s start with the disease pathogens. The vaccination pillar of the programme aims at reducing the disease incidence caused by BRD which is illustrated in figure 2:

Pathogen namePathogen typeKnown as
Respiratory Syncytial VirusVirusRSV
Parainfluenza-3VirusPI3
Bovine herpes virus type 1 (BoHV-1), (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis)VirusIBR
Mannhaemia haemolyticaBacteriaMannhaemia (Pasteurella) haemolytica
Figure 2. List of disease pathogens the programme aims to protect calves against through vaccination

For the purpose of this programme, Teagasc are advocating the importance of vaccinating calves against all four pathogens listed in figure 2 where possible. If inspected, you must provide receipts to show proof of purchase and a record of vaccine administration dates in order to satisfy Action 2 of the programme.

Applicants must choose one of the following vaccination protocols to qualify for payment:

Option 1. (if there is adequate time before risk period or a broader coverage including bacteria is required)

  • First subcutaneous injection of RSV, PI3 and Mannhaemia haemolytica dead vaccine, six to eight weeks before weaning/housing/sale
  • Second subcutaneous injection of RSV, PI3 and Mannhaemia haemolytica dead vaccine, two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale
  • At the same time as the second injection, a single IBR live intra-muscular, two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale

Option 2. (if there is a short time before risk period or if cattle can only be handled once)

  • Single RSV and Pi3 Intranasal two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale
  • At the same time, a single (or two dose programme) IBR live intra-muscular injection (two to four weeks before weaning/housing/sale)

MSD Animal Health has the full portfolio of BRD vaccines to provide protection against the four pathogens listed in figure 2. Figure 3 below displays the disease pathogen each product provides protection against and the specific vaccination protocol.

Figure 3. MSD Animal Health BRD vaccine portfolio suitable for the BEEP-S scheme

MSD Animal Health are advising all farmers to implement a vaccination protocol using Bovipast RSP and Bovilis IBR Marker Live. Benefits of this programme:

  • Combination of these vaccines will provide protection against all four pathogens
  • The two vaccines are licenced to be administered on the same day
  • Bovipast RSP provides the BROADEST cover against Mannhaemia haemolytica that’s available on the market
  • Bovilis IBR Marker Live provides the FASTEST onset of immunity compared to competitor product

Bovipast RSP

Bovilis Bovipast RSP
Bovilis Bovipast RSP
  • Provides protection against RSV, PI3 and the BROADEST protection against Mannhaemia ((Pasteurella) haemolytica
  • Inactivated or dead vaccine
  • Two shot primary course given four weeks apart. One shot is 5ml
  • The second shot must be given no later that two weeks prior to weaning, sale or housing
    • 1st shot six weeks prior to risk 
    • 2nd shot two weeks prior to risk
  • Subcutaneous injection (under the skin)
Bovilis IBR Marker Live
Bovilis IBR Marker Live

Bovilis IBR Marker Live

  • Provides the FASTEST onset of immunity against IBR
  • Live vaccine
  • Single 2ml shot given at least two weeks prior to weaning, sale or housing
  • Intranasal (up the nose) or intramuscular (into the muscle) injection
  • Both intranasal and intramuscular administration will give 6 months protection when given to stock over 3 months old.
Bovilis INtranasal RSP Live
Bovilis INtranasal RSP Live

Bovilis INtranasal RSP Live

  • Provides the FASTEST onset of immunity against RSV and Pi3
  • Live vaccine
  • Single 2ml shot given at least one week prior to weaning, sale or housing
  • Intranasal administration
  • Provides 12 weeks protection against RSV & PI3

MSD Animal Health are advising all farmers to consult with their attending veterinary practitioner prior to implementing a vaccination protocol.

If inspected, you must provide receipts to show proof of purchase and a record of vaccine administration dates in order to satisfy Action 2 of the programme.

References
Bareille et al. 2008. Impact technique et économique des troubles respiratoires des jeunes bovins lors de l’engraissement. Rencontres autour des recherches sur les ruminants: 77-80.

Do you want to enter our #WinwithBovipast competition?

Are you a beef farmer? Do you want to attend this year’s Balmoral Show? Are you on the look out for a new jacket? If the answer is yes, well then we’ve got the competition just for you!

Over the next three weeks, MSD Animal Health are running a social media competition with a fantastic prize up for grabs.

To be in with the chance to win a pair of brown leather Blundstone boots, a quilted Toggi jacket as well as 5 tickets to this year’s Balmoral Show all you need to do is enter our competition.

For a lucky lady winner, there is a women’s jacket option available too!

How to enter the online competition

To enter the competition there are just 3 simple steps:

  1. Post a photo of your best, or even your favorite beef weanling on Twitter or Facebook;
  2. Use the hashtag: #WinwithBovipast;
  3. Tag @msd_ah if you enter on Twitter, or @MSD Animal Health – Cattle & Sheep if you enter on Facebook.

It’s that easy! Don’t waste time, get snapping and be in with the chance to win this amazing prize!

The competition is running from Thursday the 19th of August to 12am on Sunday, the 12th of September. The winner will be announced on Monday, the 13th of September.

The winner will be picked at random! Lets see those weanling photos!

Bovipast RSP – The number one pneumonia vaccine

Bovipast RSP is the number one pneumonia vaccine used in cattle in Northern Ireland. It protects against two viral causes of pneumonia: RSV and PI3 viruses; and the bacterium Mannheimia haemolytica.

Bovipast RSP is the only cattle vaccine licensed to protect against Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica serotypes A1 and A6. Protection against both strains is vitally important and is unique to Bovipast RSP. 

Calves can be vaccinated from two weeks of age. The vaccination program is two shots four weeks apart. A booster dose should be given before the next period of risk. Bovipast can also be administered at the same time as Bovilis IBR Marker Live.

Vaccinating cattle before they get pneumonia can be a very effective way of controlling disease. The vaccine stimulates the animal’s immune system to produce antibodies. These antibodies help the animal to fight infection when they encounter it. 


Sheep lameness – Underlying issue to reduced performance?

Lameness in sheep

Lameness in sheep is a significant issue in flocks in Ireland. Lame sheep are a cost to any farm business due to the costs associated with treatment, control and loss of productivity.

When compared to a normal ewe, lame ewes can have:

  • 15% lower conception rate;
  • 20% decrease in body condition score;
  • 20% lower lambing percentage;
  • Lower ewe survival;
  • Poor lamb survival;
  • Reduced growth rate in lambs born to lame ewes;
  • Fewer lambs sold finished.

For effective treatment it is important that a correct diagnosis is made to identify the cause of lameness affecting each ewe. The three most common causes of lameness in sheep are bacterial infections of the skin and hoof, including: Scald, Footrot and Contagious Ovine Digital Dermatitis (CODD).

Misdiagnosis leads to mistreatment

Causes and symptoms of lameness in sheep

Bacteria that affect the skin and hoof are normally found in the digestive tract of animals. Virulent strains of Dichelobacter nodosus, the primary cause of Footrot in sheep, are maintained in the flock by both lame and recovered carrier sheep.

90% of lameness is caused by Scald and Footrot.

Scald

Scald is the term given to inflamed or reddened skin between the digits. The horn is usually unaffected. A damp environment predisposes sheep to developing scald.

Wet grass or moisture between the toes leads to an impairment of the defence properties of the skin which normally acts as a barrier to infection.

Bacteria which can be found on the surface of normal feet, Fusobacterium necrophorum, invade the skin when wet, resulting in damage. The interdigital skin can appear red and swollen or grey.

Lameness is usually mild and resolves when underfoot conditions improve. In the meantime, however, the damaged skin can allow entry of other potentially harmful bacteria such as the agent causing Footrot, Dichelobacter nodosus.

Footrot

Check out our NEW farmer brochure for all you need to know about Footrot in sheep! Click the arrows below to scroll through the pdf document.

Causes of Footrot in sheep

There are two forms of Footrot in sheep, benign and virulent. Benign Footrot is caused by certain strains of Dichelobacter nodosus that are less damaging than the strains that cause virulent Footrot.

The initial damage done to the skin is by Fusobacterium necrophorum resulting in Scald can allow the entry of bacteria that cause Footrot. This leads to further damage of the soft tissue underlying the hoof resulting in Footrot. Often more than one foot can be affected.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Footrot-article-Bovilis-1-edited.jpg

Virulent Footrot results in severe horn separation and the formation of a foul-smelling discharge.

Dichelobacter nodosus bacteria survives in the feet of lame sheep or recovered carrier animals. They can live in wet, muddy environments for approximately four days. During the grazing season, survival is enhanced by wet lush pastures. At housing, damp underfoot conditions improve transmission from either lame or recovered carrier animals to sound ewes.

Contagious Ovine Digital Dermatitis (CODD)

The exact cause of contagious ovine digital dermatitis is yet to be defined. However, Treponema sp. bacteria are frequently detected along with other microbes in cases of scald and footrot in sheep.

Ulcers are found at the coronary band, at the skin hoof boundary. Ulcers can also be found on the hoof wall. The condition differs from footrot in that there is a sudden onset of more severe lameness.

The majority of affected sheep become severely lame. In a clean flock, free of the bacteria causing CODD, purchasing infected sheep is the main route of entry.

The Five Point Plan Approach

The 5 Point Plan was developed using existing published science on sheep lameness, and practical experience from farmers who had achieved sustained low levels of lameness.

The 5 Point Plan has five action points that support the treatment of the animal in three different ways: Building resilience; reducing disease challenge; and establishing immunity.

Reducing the prevalence of lameness requires a long-term commitment to implementing all five points of the plan.

Talk to your vet for more information on creating an action plan for your flock!


WATCH – ” We lost 10 calves one year. We have lost none since”

Kieran Flatley of Harrington Farms in Kilkelly, County Mayo talks about the improvement in their weanling calves over the last few years as a result of implementing a vaccination programme to protect them against pneumonia.

Kieran Flatley gives an insight into Harrigton Farms in Kilkelly, Co. Mayo where they calve down 160 sucklers cows in the spring.

Earlier this year, Kieran applied for the BEEP-S scheme. As part of the scheme, farmers had to apply before 26th April 2021. When applying, they had to indicate what actions they would undertake. See figure 1 below which outlines the actions points of the scheme.

Figure 1: The Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – Sucklers for 2020. The scheme is the same for 2021.

For more information on the BEEP – S, click here


Announcement: MSD Animal Health to acquire assets of LIC Automation Ltd.

MSD Animal Health to acquire the assets of LIC Automation Ltd. (LICA), from New Zealand-based, farmer-owned cooperative Livestock Improvement Corporation Ltd. (LIC).

LIC is a farmer-owned co-operative and world leader in pasture based dairy genetics and herd management.

LICA

LICA, a privately held company in New Zealand, manufactures and supplies specialised, integrated herd management systems and milk-testing sensors for the dairy industry.

Farm productivity has become increasingly important on dairy farms. LICA’s automated offerings, including Protrack technology solutions, enabling dairy farmers to gather precise information on the health and milking habits of dairy cows – which supports their efforts in herd management, real-time milk analysis, animal evaluation and reproductive health and wellness.

LICA’s product portfolio joins Allflex Livestock Intelligence, a complementary business unit of MSD Animal Health that specialises in identification and monitoring technology that delivers real-time, actionable data and insights to help improve livestock management.

Commenting on the acquisition, Rick DeLuca, president of MSD Animal Health, said: “We are pleased to take this step forward with the acquisition of LICA technology, as we continue to broaden our portfolio with complementary products and technologies to advance animal well-being and outcomes for our customers,”

“Our portfolio of enhanced dairy farm management and livestock intelligence solutions for the dairy industry helps address the evolving customer needs of dairy farmers and strengthen our leadership in shaping the future of animal health.”

“We are excited to add LICA’s products to our existing veterinary medicines, vaccines and health management solutions and services, as well as Allflex Livestock Intelligence’s digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products to benefit farmers and veterinarians.

“We look forward to continuing to expand our world-class animal health solutions both locally and globally,” said Fergal Morris, general manager, MSD Animal Health Ireland.

LICA is a leader in automation and technology for the dairy industry and its products are available in New Zealand and in selected European markets.

Wayne McNee, LIC chief executive, remarked: “We are pleased that MSD Animal Health has chosen to acquire this technology.

“MSD Animal Health has a reputation for investing heavily in research and development for animal health and welfare. The company has extensive scientific and technological capabilities that can take this technology to the next phase and deliver more value to farmers.”

For more information, visit MSD Animal Health or Allflex Livestock Intelligence.