Silent loss of 250kg per cow per year from IBR

One of the main focus points at the recent Open Day in Moorepark was simplifying farm management practices, reducing workload in the spring and utilising as many labour saving tools as possible.

Some 50pc of the annual workload in Irish seasonal calving herds is squeezed into the three months of busy spring activity.

With calf care and cow condition priorities at this time it makes sense to have a rethink about other work traditionally carried out in spring, if at all possible.

Recent data on vaccine sales suggests that over 70pc of vaccines for breeding cows in Ireland are used in this busy three-month period. This practice of spring vaccination developed due to older vaccines having only six months duration of protection or specific timings with regard to vaccine administration.

With progressive developments in research and vaccine effectiveness it is now possible to switch to more flexible yearly vaccination programmes to prevent some of the common infectious disease of cattle in Ireland.

Take IBR for example; years ago there were limited vaccines available, and they had to be administered twice a year, on a six monthly basis, to be effective. We now know that herds can also be fully protected against IBR with the use of the simple yearly Rispoval IBR vaccination programme.

Using this proven yearly IBR programme reduces the amount of time and effort required to vaccinate the herd. It is the combination of using the Rispoval IBR Marker live vaccine followed by the Rispoval IBR Marker inactivated vaccine which provides robust IBR protection, including IBR abortion protection for the full 12 months.

Research from Moorepark has demonstrated that the cost of IBR is very significant on Irish dairy farms.

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A study published this year indicated that IBR positive herds, with no obvious signs of disease were losing on average 250kg milk per cow per year. In addition, milk solids were reduced in IBR positive herds. For a 100-cow herd this amounts to around €6,000 loss per year.

Now is the time to vaccinate this year’s calves with Rispoval IBR Marker live and prepare them to join the main breeding herd vaccination programme with Rispoval IBR inactivated come December.

Regardless of which IBR programme you are currently using, it is very easy to switch to the simple yearly Rispoval IBR vaccination programme. All animals over three months of age that have received a single dose of Rispoval IBR live (intramuscularly) can progress within six months to Rispoval IBR Marker inactivated on a yearly basis.

IBR is sometimes regarded as a silent loss, but when it comes to a €6,000 loss per 100 cows per year it must be time to shout about the labour saving simple yearly Rispoval IBR vaccination programme

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