Farm Table says:
What is the problem?
Calves proximity to adult cattle and manure sources should be sufficiently regulated to mitigate the risk of bovine Johne’s disease (BJD) infestation and transmission.
However, a simplified guide should be provided to give more clarity to this prevention. This publication detailed the 3-Step Calf Plan to effectively minimize the BJD risk in the herd and improve the National Dairy BJD Assurance Score for cattle on the other hand.
What did the research involve?
BJD infection can be devastating to the overall productivity and profitability of the farmer. Thus, this 3-Step Calf Plan was carefully prepared and handed to farmers to acquire the desired results for the herd.
What were the key findings?
● The 3-Step Calf Plan:
Step 1: Calves should be quickly withdrawn from the cow within 12 hours of birth.
Step 2: The calf-rearing area should have no signs of any effluent factors that proximates with the calf.
Step 3: Calf-rearing within calves up to 12 months should not be done on pastures that have had adult stock or any stock that carried BJD on them during the past 12 months.
● To minimize new infections, further recommended best practices include the following:
– In calf-rearing, clean environment; separation from the mother; not feeding on sick cows; preventing from manure splashing; elevating feeding areas; using tank water; using milk replacer, and avoiding exposure from sewage must be attained.
– For herd instructions, minimizing herd expansion risks; protecting animals from risks of newly introduced animals; using processed semen and embryos, and agisting off-farm only cattle that are 12 months and older must be acquired.
– In removing test-positive animals from the herd, understanding the diagnostic tests for BJD; using testing results for culling decisions; quick culling test-positive cattle from the herd, and understanding the regulatory implications with test-positive cattle in the State must be done.
With the predominance of the 3-Step Calf Plan implementation, these additional recommendations for best practices that control BJD risk should also be considered and followed. A number of dairy companies in Australia have already adopted this 3-Step Calf Plan in their farm to prevent BJD risks and unfavorable liabilities and has proved its efficiency.