MSD Animal Health has launched a range of educational materials to help calf rearers and their advisers improve the management of scour problems.

The materials available include a scour management guide for farmers and a more detailed version for vets. They encourage a focus on three main areas for improved, sustained disease control: maximising calf immunity; identifying any causal agents and how to effectively manage an outbreak of calf scour on farm.

MSD Animal Health veterinary adviser Dr Kat Baxter-Smith (pictured right) said: "Even with good disease prevention protocols in place, calf scour outbreaks can still occur. But when they do, remedial action should focus on these three key areas to resolve the outbreak as quickly as possible and reduce the chances of another costly event happening in the future.

The company highlights a 202 survey of more than 300 farms, which found that over 80% of UK calf rearing units had seen a case of scour in the previous 12 months; with 50% of farms admitting to experiencing calf deaths due to the disease1. Costs are estimated at £57.94 per case but this does not include the longer-term impacts of the disease on future calf productivity.2,3

References

  1. MSD Animal Health National Youngstock Survey 2020.
  2. ADAS Economic Impact of Health and Welfare Issues in Beef Cattle and Sheep in England (2012).
  3. Button E. (2020). Calf disease: an immunological perspective. Livestock. March/April.

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