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Is it time to treat your cattle or sheep for fluke?

Liver fluke infection in Ireland can be an all year-round problem.  However, this time of year can be particularly problematic after the mild summer and autumn we just experienced. Liver fluke may cause a reduced meat production of up to 20% in cattle, 30% in sheep and a reduction in milk production of 8% in dairy cows.

Animals initially pick up infection by ingesting larvae from grass on typically wet/marshy land. Development into the infective stage is helped along by an intermediate host, the mud snail. Larvae eventually leave the mud snail, encyst on grass and are ingested. Once in the gut, they penetrate the intestinal wall and move directly to the liver where they develop into adults in the bile ducts. This process takes 8-12 weeks during which significant damage to the liver occurs as the fluke migrate. Egg production starts in the bile ducts, eggs are released into the small intestine and finally onto pasture, continuing the cycle of infection.

Obvious signs of fluke infection include bottle jaw, anaemia, poor thrive and weight loss. Severe infections can trigger clostridial disease resulting in sudden death or even aggravate conditions such as salmonellosis. If animals were treated for fluke at housing and are showing signs of infection, now is the time for another treatment.

Dung samples from individuals or a group of animals is a common method of diagnosis. However, a negative result does not completely rule out infection as immature fluke might be present which may not have had the chance to produce eggs. A Bulk milk tank ELISA test can also be considered as well as data analysis from abattoirs.

When treating, it is important to look at what active ingredient is in the product and what stage of the lifecycle it is effective against. Zanil contains the active ingredient Oxycloxzanide which is effective against adult flukes present in the bile duct of the animal and is also effective against tapeworm segments. Fluke treatment with Zanil is commonly given this time of year as adult flukes are often present now, 8-12 weeks after housing.

Zanil can be given as an oral drench to both cattle and sheep as well as pregnant and lactating animals. As with all oral drenches, it is important to dose as accurately as possible to the weight of the animal. For cattle, the dose is 3ml/10kg up to 350 kg. For cattle > 350 kg a maximum dose of 105 ml must be given. For sheep, the dose is 4.5 ml per 10 kg up to 45 kg. For sheep > 45 kg the maximum dose is 20 ml.

Withdrawals for cattle include a 4.5-day milk withdrawal and 13-day meat while sheep have a 7-day milk withdrawal and 14-day meat.

Pr€vention for Profit – Overall Winner

Eamon Sheehan is farming 70 hectares near Cuffesgrange in Co Kilkenny. The new entrant to dairy is a Nuffield Scholar and an avid sport horse fan. Eamon milked 150 cows this year.


Sixty cows were milked in 2013. This has gradually increased to 150 cows being milked in 2018 and 180 cows planned for 2019. The original herd of first lactation cows were purchased from three different farmers. All the cows are black and white and mainly Holstein Friesian.

The breed is certainly delivering for the Sheehan’s. The empty rate after this year’s breeding season is exceptionally low at 2.7% empty after 12 weeks of breeding. This is exceptional breeding performance for a large commercial herd. The empty rate with the heifers is actually higher than it is for the cows at 3.6% after nine weeks of breeding. However, the numbers empty are small with two out of 56 heifers not in-calf. Eamon does all of his own AI. The EBI of the herd is €101 however, this is expected to rise over the coming years. The EBI of the bulls used in 2018 averaged €217 which is a good bit higher than the herd average but still about €70 behind the highest EBI bulls that were available.


In 2017, 750kg concentrate per cow was fed. When the judges visited the farm in early October, the herd had produced 399kg of milk solids to date, but because of the drought Eamon fed a lot more in 2018 with 1.25t of meal fed per cow up to early October. In 2017, all heifer calves were reared on whole milk and were reared on an automatic feeder in 2018.

The farm grew 15.4t/ha in 2017, but by early October the total growth was nearly half that at 8.4t/ha. The drought really affected this part of Kilkenny and the Sheehan farm was one of the worst affected. Significantly more meal and silage had to be bought in.

Animal Health

New born calves get three to four litres of colostrum within two hours of birth. All the cows have been tested for Johnes disease. Eamon started testing for the disease three years ago. As the herd was formed in 2012 from a number of sources, the disease status of the herd was unknown. Only colostrum from cows that are clear of Johne’s disease is fed to calves from first calvers. Eamon vaccinates against IBR, leptospirosis, salmonella and scour. In 2017, the herd sold 440kg of milk solids per cow with 60% of the cows at first and second lactation.


Last year, the herd sold 440kg of milk solids per cow with all heifer calves reared on whole milk and with 60% of the cows at first and second lactation. The Sheehan’s have an electric mobile milking plant that they use for milking freshly calved cows to get colostrum. Every cow is milked by this machine after calving and the calf is fed.

“It’s as quick to milk the cow and get higher quality and warm colostrum as it is to go heat up colostrum. We just tie up the cow in the calving gate and put the clusters on her. Now, we don’t milk first calving heifers with the mobile plant as I think it would be too dangerous so we use colostrum from cows for feeding calves out of heifers.” Eamon says.

The Competition

The Prevention For Profit competition is aimed at innovative dairy farmers who are maximising their profitability by focusing on four key pillars of production. Nutrition, genetics, management and animal health.

For this competition, a panel of judges went on-farm to assess the farm’s level of productivity and profitability.

Pr€vention for Profit – Ulster Champion

Stephen Gibson is the sixth generation of Gibson’s to farm near Hillsborough in Co Down. Stephen was a beef and sheep farmer up to 2012, before taking the plunge to get into dairy farming.

Like a lot of farmers in the region, the Gibson herd is autumn calving, with calving commencing in September and finishing up in early February.

It’s a high yielding herd of Holstein Friesian cows, delivering 9,200l to Lakeland Dairies with an average protein content of 3.94% and 3.35% protein which is a staggering 690kg of milk solids per cow. When the judges visited the farm in mid-October, Stephen had 70 cows going through the parlour, with another 27 dry cows outside grazing.


The cows inside were being fed a mixture of grass silage, 0.5kg of chopped straw and 4kg of meal in a Total Mix Ration, along with extra meal fed in the parlour on a feed to yield basis. Cows are fed a total of 14kg of meal three weeks after calving, while heifers are fed 12kg of meal by week three. After that, cows are on a feed to yield basis – the more milk they produce the more meal they will get. The cows are fed the TMR twice a day. Dry cows are fed a partial DCAB diet of haylage and 2kg of a precalver nut. Over the course of the year, the cows are fed around 2.7t of meal each.

Animal Health

Stephen places a big emphasis on preventing animal health issues. He is vaccinating the herd against IBR, BVD and leptospirosis. The herd is screened for Johnes disease every quarter, with 30 cows selected for a milk test at each screen. If a cow fails to pass the Johnes test, that cow is not bred again but if she is in calf a different cow’s colostrum is fed to her calf and her colostrum is discarded.

Cows are routinely hoof pared 100 days after calving to identify and correct any issues early, before they become a problem. Calves get 3l of colostrum within the first hour of birth and another 2l at the next feed. Stephen says that he has so far avoided any cryptosporidium or infectious scours in the calf shed. On top of screening for Johnes, Stephen also screens for IBR, BVD, leptospirosis, salmonella, neospora, fluke and worms. He uses the mandatory tissue testing for BVD and has never had a PI calf. Stephen also practices selective dry cow therapy, with any cows with an SCC below 100,000 only getting a teat sealer.


Cows go to grass in springtime when the weather and ground conditions allow. Stephen has a good network of paddocks and farm roadways allowing for rotational paddock grazing. He has a thermometer in the shed and watches this regularly when the cows are in. If the internal temperature is less than seven degrees Celsius the big roller doors are closed and if it is above seven degrees the doors are left open. The Gibson farm is impeccable with nothing out of place. A new cubicle shed for 128 cows was built before the family got into cows in 2012. The shed incorporates the 10 unit swing over parlour and calving pens, making it a very labour efficient set up. The yard is centrally located within the 72 hectare farm. Stephen has breeding tags in the cows which he uses for heat detection and he uses the AM:PM rule when submitting stock for AI.


All replacement heifers on the farm are bred from AI bulls. Last season, Stephen used all sexed semen for the first few weeks and then switched to Hereford AI to get more beef calves. The calving interval is an impressive 383 days and all heifers calve between 23 and 26 months of age. At a high milk yield of 9,200l per cow, Stephen says he has enough milk volume so his focus now is on improving the fat and protein percentages and fertility of the herd.

Pr€vention for Profit – Munster Champion

In 1994, Sean Cronin took over what was then an outside block attached to the family’s dairy farm at Mallow, in Co Cork.

Sean together with his wife Leona, they built up a large suckler herd at Buttevant, before converting the farm to dairy in 2009. They milked 380 cows at peak in 2018 but they were milking 340 cows when the judges visited Buttevant in early October. In 2016 a new lease was taken on enabling the herd size to increase.
With 130 hectares around the milking block, this is a large farm with 195 hectares in total. The farm will be stocked at 3.2 cows/ha next season with over 400 cows going through the parlour. The Cronins are currently building a new parlour, with a 44-bail rotary parlour being installed.


Sean is passionate about grass and the merits of low cost grass based farming. All the judges were very impressed with his grassland management. Cows were cleaning out paddocks exceptionally well. The farm grew 16t/ha of grass last year, but the drought will reduce that somewhat for 2018. Sean fed around 550kg of meal per cow in 2017 and the herd produced 438kg of milk solids per cow. Sean grows beet on the milking platform every year which he feeds to cows in autumn, winter and spring.
“Beet is a very high yielding and a very high energy crop. For me, it transfers energy from the summer to the shoulders of the year and the cows milk great off it. It’s a much better feed than silage.” Sean says. After building up the cows on beet slowly, they get to strip graze it for a few hours every day. When the judges visited in early October the farm had an average farm cover of 920kg/ha of grass and the cows were on a 40-day rotation length.

Animal Health

Preventing disease is the name of the game on this farm. Cows are vaccinated against salmonella, IBR, leptospirosis and calf-scour, whereas the calves are vaccinated to protect against pneumonia and clostridial diseases. Sean places a lot of emphasis on prevention of disease in calves, with all calves getting stomach tubed with 3l of colostrum. Sean makes sure each calf gets the colostrum within the first two hours of birth to maximise the transfer of antibodies from the cow to the calf.
Calving sheds are cleaned out every two or three days, using a tractor and scraper, which Sean says removes 95% of the straw and dung very quickly and easily. He says regular cleaning reduces the build-up of bugs and bacteria in the calving sheds.
Cows get dairy AI for six weeks and then get in-calf to Angus. Calves are fed whole milk for about three weeks before moving to milk powder when they are fed once a day. Sean is getting the full benefit of the scour vaccine by feeding whole milk for this period.


Cows go out to grass after calving. Some of the later calving cows are housed on the leased farm up the road. The median calving date is 20 February so after this date the cows up the road come down to be calved on the home farm. Bull calves go to the mart at two weeks of age, to reduce the workload and the pressure at calving time.


The cows are a mix of Jersey crossbred and Holstein Friesian. Sean picks bulls based on their EBI placing an emphasis on the fertility, milk and health sub-index. He does his own AI and picks his own bulls and assigns them to cows based on what best suits that cow. Breeding performance is good with just 7% empty after 12 weeks of breeding. The EBI of the herd is over €140.
On the day of the judges visit the cows were producing 17.5l per day at 5.29% fat and 4.31% protein which is 1.73kg of milk solids while eating 5kg of meal.

The Competition

The Prevention For Profit competition is aimed at innovative dairy farmers who are maximising their profitability by focusing on four key pillars of production. Nutrition, genetics, management and animal health.
For this competition, a panel of judges went on-farm to assess the farm’s level of productivity and profitability. The overall winner will be selected from this on-farm assessment.
Winner will be announced in the Dairy Day supplement published 15 November.

Pr€vention for Profit – Leinster Champion

When Philip O’Brien returned home from Kildalton College, it was very much a mixed farm. The O’Brien’s were milking 25 dairy cows alongside beef and tillage on their good, dry farm near Callan.

“The big change happened around 2005 when we got the chance to buy milk quota in the exchange. We also started to lease more land around then and cow numbers have been growing ever since. We’re milking 250 cows now and we’re stocked at 3.5 cows/ha on the milking block.”

The biggest jump in cow numbers came after more land was leased and quotas went in 2015. Philip is helped out on the farm by his wife Mandy and children Paddy, Anna and John. It’s a real family farm in a hurling heartland. When the judges visited the boys were pucking a ball around the yard, in between milking a few rows of cows.

Philip is in a position many farmers would like to be in. In his own words, most of the expansion in cow numbers is behind him and his focus over the past few years has been to make the farm easy to run and more efficient. A fantastic new calf shed was built last year, every cow has a cubicle and a roof over her head and the farm machinery is modern.


The mostly British Friesian cows produced 486kg of milk solids per cow from 850kg of meal in 2017. The EBI of the cows is €134 and just 7.5% were empty after 12 weeks of breeding this year. Because of the drought, meal feeding will be up a lot in 2018. Philip fed a lot of extra meal and palm kernel during the drought. Cows were fed the meal in the shed and had access to a field near the yard also. The cows were grazing the field near the yard for the first time since the drought broke when the judges visited. Philip says the farm grows about 14 to 15t of grass annually

Animal Health

Prevention is the name of the game on this Kilkenny farm. Cows are vaccinated for BVD, IBR, leptospirosis, salmonella and scour. After hearing of a BVD breakdown on a local farm, he has continued to keep up the BVD vaccine.

While not recommended practice, Philip allows the new born calf to suck it’s dam in order to get it’s first colostrum. The calf is then fed second colostrum at its next feed. Philip has three maternity pens for calving cows. Each pen can hold about 10 or 12 cows so he has loads of space. Calves are taken away from their mothers once a day old and moved to the calf shed where they are kept in individual pens for a few days before being moved to group penning.

All cows get dosed for fluke and worms at drying off and they also get a blanket dry cow therapy at dry off. Cows are sent through a formalin and paracetic acid footbath once a week and Philip says lameness incidences are very low. The farm roadways are very well maintained using soft stone from a Tipperary quarry.


The new calf shed is a super job. It’s seven spans long and 4m high at the eaves with 2m of Yorkshire boarding over a 2m concrete wall. The pitch of the roof is 22 degrees, which Philip says is designed to help with airflow. Milk is pumped under the yard to the calf shed and dispensed using a nozzle and flow meter. It’s all very labour efficient.


The background of the herd is British Friesian but Philip has been using genomic sires for the past few years. Most of the bulls used are from Eurogene AI. He has 59 in-calf heifers and 116 heifer calves. The average SCC is 80,000. When the judges visited the cows were on 5kg of meal and milking 22.2l of milk at 4.05% protein and 4.27% fat which is a whopping 1.9kg of milk solids.


The Prevention For Profit competition is aimed at innovative dairy farmers who are maximising their profitability by focusing on four key pillars of production. Nutrition, genetics, management and animal health.

For this competition, a panel of judges went on-farm to assess the farm’s level of productivity and profitability. The overall winner will be selected from this on-farm assessment.

Winner will be announced in the Dairy Day supplement published November 15

Pr€vention for Profit – Connacht Champion

Representing Connacht in the MSD Prevention for Profit competition is Sligo farmer Chris Tuffy. Chris is farming in partnership with his father TJ on a leased farm at Doonally, near Sligo town.

A former AI station, the farm had slatted and loose housing and slurry storage when they took over the farm in 2011, but cubicles, milking parlour, roadways, fencing and water all had to be installed.

Next season will be Chris’s eighth year milking in Doonally. TJ was originally milking around 60 cows on a much smaller milking block at Enniscrone, about 45 minutes away from the leased farm. After Chris spent a year in New Zealand, the Tuffys decided to take on the leased farm to create two incomes.


With only 20 acres around the milking block in Enniscrone, there was no real option to expand there. The farm in Doonally has 150 acres (55 adjusted hectares) and Chris is milking 145 cows in 2018.

Chris manages the cows and grass at Doonally, while TJ rears the youngstock in Enniscrone. Bull calves are sold at two weeks of age and heifer calves go to Enniscrone at about 10 days of age where they are reared on an automatic calf feeder and fed milk powder.

Animal health

Chris says calf health is excellent at Doonally, but he places a lot of emphasis on preventing disease. All colostrum is tested with a brix refractometer before being fed, and only colostrum with a reading above 22% is fed. He doesn’t keep colostrum after 24 hours and every calf is stomach-tubed with of colostrum within an hour of birth and the calf is snatched and put in an individual pen straight away.

There was an outbreak of rotavirus scour last year in the shed in Enniscrone, so Chris has decided to vaccinate all cows this year with a single shot scour vaccine. He also vaccinates against Leptospirosis and IBR. He vaccinates for IBR every six months with a live vaccine. Chris is considering moving onto the 12 month live IBR protocol next year.

Chris is very aware of the risks of parasites. He says that they suffered a lot in their first year in Doonally as a lot of the cows ended up with rumen fluke. The land at Doonally is quite heavy, whereas Chris describes the land in Enniscrone as being as dry as anywhere in Ireland. So there’s a heavy fluke burden in Doonally – something the youngstock reared in Enniscrone are not used to. As a result, all cows are dosed for fluke at drying off and dosed again for rumen fluke in mid-January.


The EBI of the Tuffy herd is high at €130 on average, with €50 in the milk sub-index and €39 in the fertility sub-index. Chris says he reckons the cows will produce about 450kg of milk solids per cow this year, from 1.1t to 1.2t of meal per cow. In contrast to 2017, this has been a very good year for grass growth and grazing on the Tuffy farm, with more silage bales made than normal.


Cows get between 10 and 12 weeks dry and last year Chris practised selective dry cow therapy. Cows with an average SCC over five milk recordings of less than 150,000 received no antibiotics. Cows with an average SCC of between 150,000 and 200,000 got a short duration antibiotic tube while cows with an SCC greater than 200,000 get a longer lasting antibiotic. The SCC on the day of the judges’ visit was 160,000 and Chris has used 22 lactating cow tubes so far in 2018 across his 145 cows.

Chris is a passionate grass farmer. Cows go to grass in late February and he practises on-off grazing depending on weather and ground conditions. He measures grass weekly and average growth over the last couple of years was 12.5t/ha.

Chris is an enthusiastic ambassador for dairy farming in the west of Ireland. He is a member of the West Awake discussion group and plays Gaelic Football for Enniscrone.


The Prevention For Profit competition is aimed at innovative dairy farmers who are maximising their profitability by focusing on four key pillars of production. Nutrition, genetics, management and animal health.

For this competition, a panel of judges went on-farm to assess the farm’s level of productivity and profitability. The overall winner will be selected from this on-farm assessment.

Winner will be announced in the Dairy Day supplement published November 15

XL Vets Beef Roadshow Attract Large Attendances

Over 1,500 farmers attended the Beef Roadshow events held at seven livestock marts in recent weeks. The events, which took place in Ballinasloe, Tullamore, Roscommon, Cootehill, Ennis, Castleisland and Kilkenny, were organised by members of XLVets, a group of 25 progressive veterinary practices which aims to deliver excellence in veterinary services to farmers through sharing experience, knowledge and skills.


The initiative was supported XLVets Skillnet, MSD Animal Health, Munster Cattle Breeding Group, Progressive Genetics and Chanelle Veterinary.  It was approved by the Department of Agriculture for farmers participating in its Knowledge Transfer discussion group programme.

Farmers attending each event got expert and practical advice on critical aspects of nutrition, health, breeding and management of suckler cows and their progeny.   All seven events were expertly chaired by Tullamore-based veterinary practitioner Donal Lynch, a founding member of XLVets.


Sisters Rose Goulding of the National Cattle Breeding Centre and Dr Doreen Corridan of the Munster Cattle Breeding Group highlighted important aspects of cow fertility and breeding. They stressed the benefits of breaking the cow/calf bond in getting the cow back in heat and the importance of good cow body condition to a successful breeding programme.

They highlighted the importance of the replacement index in choosing bulls to breed replacements. They warned about the dangers associated with sourcing bulls through pedigree bull sales saying that many of these animals have excessive condition and the shock of moving to a ‘working environment’ can have a big impact on health and fertility. Ideally, a bull should be bought between two and six months before he is needed. He should be fertility tested and concentrate levels should be eased back gradually.


John Heslin, who managed the Derrypatrick suckler herd at Teagasc Grange before joining MSD Animal Health last summer, gave pointers on key practices around weaning and housing. Animals that are stressed have lower immunity to respiratory diseases. Meal feeding before weaning combined with vaccination and well ventilated housing are all important in ensuring healthy animals.

Ciarán Lenehan from Chanelle Veterinary dealt with the importance of managing cow condition score over the winter period. The first priority is to establish the quality and feeding value of the silage.  This will determine the level of concentrate to be fed to weanlings and cows. If silage quality is poor, thin cows will need 2.5kg/day of concentrate. Feeding minerals and soya bean in the weeks leading up to calving are also important.

The events were also addressed by veterinarians working with MSD Animal Health on the role of vaccines in preventing respiratory diseases and on the safe and effective use of these vaccines.

Speakers at the Beef Roadshow in Roscommon livestock mart, from left: John Heslin, MSD Animal Health, Ciarán Lenehan, Chanelle Veterinary, Donal Lynch, XLVets, Donal Flynn, All Creatures Veterinary Clinic, Roscommon, Rose Goulding, National Cattle Breeding Centre and Suzanne Naughton, MSD Animal Health.

MSD host Sustainable Irish Food Production 2025 Conference

MSD were delighted to open the discussion on the following 5 key topics:
1. Human & Animal Antimicrobial Resistance.
2. The Impact of Potential New EU Legislation.
3. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – The Role of the Vet.
4. Sustainable Irish Food Production for Global Markets into 2025.
5. Brexit – Implications for our Industry.

Growing resistance
Professor Patrick Wall opened the discussion on antimicrobial resistance reminding the attendees that the more you use antibiotics, the faster you lose them through antibiotic resistance. This was followed by a key message given by Conor Geraghty of Veterinary Ireland. ‘If you stand still, you’re going backwards! there is an alternative to antibiotic use’. The session was chaired by Mike Magan of Animal Health Ireland.

The Impact of New EU Legislation

Geoff Dooley of Nuffield Ireland and XL Vets chaired this session which saw MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament reinstate the fact that ‘having a healthy livestock sector means having a healthy economic situation for our farmers. If one country goes that extra kilometer then we need to be up there with them. This industry is about a future where young people can prosper’. This was then followed by Fergal Morris of MSD highlighting the importance of grass based systems stating that Italy use 7 times more antibiotics than Ireland! He also empahised the importance of AMR stating that ‘oral medication is more likely to cause antibiotic resistance than injectable medications’.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – The Role of the Vet
This session saw John Gilmore offer great insights into the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland. Some of those points include;
– Eliminating IBR in a dairy herd can reduce carbon footprint in the livestock production system.
– Introducing milk concentrates to milk production can increase greenhouse gas emissions, therefore we must strive to avoid this.
– Livestock production cause more greenhouse gases than industries such as transport. Vets must take a leading role in reducing this.

Reactions and Feedback




BVD outbreak resulted in loss of over three-quarters of calves

Of 53 cows put in calf, Wexford suckler producer Paul Barden was left with just 12 calves alive due to a BVD outbreak. And the devastation was caused by a bought-in heifer that turned out to be a PI.
Paul, who farms at Donooney, Adamstown, experienced the BVD nightmare in spring 2014. He calved 52 cows in 2013. All calves were tissuetagged and were negative for BVD. He was very conscious of disease prevention. Cows were vaccinated against leptospirosis and salmonellosis. They were also vaccinated pre-calving to protect against scour in calves and he also had an IBR vaccination strategy in place. He had previously operated a closed herd and therefore did not feel the need to vaccinate against BVD. In summer 2013, he bought in eight heifers. And that is when the BVD horror story began.

“I noticed one of the heifers was not thriving as well as the rest, but I had no reason to suspect there was anything seriously wrong with her,” said Paul.


In September 2013, 53 animals were scanned in-calf, including the bought-in heifer. But everything changed when the cows started to calve in 2014. Paul tells the gruesome story “It was an absolute nightmare. Thirteen cows lost their calves before calving, including the bought-in heifer who aborted after about four months in-calf. Of the 40 calves that were born, we finished up with 12 that lived. “Some were born dead or died immediately after birth.
Over 20 lived, but got pneumonia and scour and anything else you could think of. With a lot of help from my vet Tomás O’Shea of Moyne Veterinary Clinic, we tried to keep them alive, but they failed to respond to all treatments. They were in a shocking state. “In the end, I agreed with Tomás that the only option was to put them down. Every single
one of the 28 that died or were put down was a PI.”
When the first signs of the impending disaster began to appear, Tomás O’Shea bloodtested all breeding stock. One – the suspect bought-in heifer that had aborted – tested as a PI. She was immediately removed from the farm.

Veterinary practitioner worked with farmer to remove BVD threat

The cows that did not produce a calf were sold. All remaining breeding stock were given a primary and booster vaccination with Bovilis BVD in advance of the 2014 breeding season. Annual BVD vaccination is now a rigid part of Paul Barden’s animal health programme. The number of cows in the herd dropped to below 40 in 2015. Paul bought in weanlings in order to “keep up numbers”.
He has gradually increased the size of the suckler herd and will calve around 45 cows this year – a mixture of Salers and Limousin – with the progeny being reared to forward stores or beef.