WHY EVERY MARKET TRADED BEEF CALF SHOULD BE VACCINATED AGAINST IBR

Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) is caused by bovine herpesvirus 1 and can cause severe upper respiratory tract disease in cattle of all ages. Typically the virus attacks eyes, nose, and throat/windpipe and the damage caused in these sites can then lead to a secondary pneumonia of the lungs and in worst case scenario, death - The images below show the typical signs of IBR.

WHY ARE MARKET TRADED CALVES AT HIGH RISK FOR IBR?

IBR virus is very common in UK beef and dairy herds and once cattle are infected they become latent IBR virus carriers for life and can then shed the virus at times of stress. If weaned beef calves come from a herd that is IBR free then they leave the farm of origin naïve to the virus and dangerously susceptible to disease. Inevitably, in a market situation with many calves coming from different units and arriving after the stress of recent weaning and transport there is the opportunity for IBR virus to be circulating and spread by nose to nose or aerosol transmission. Calves may be shedding IBR virus on arrival at market and then an outbreak of disease can be seen within a week or two of them arriving at their new farm. Cattle they have been mixed with, or even those just sharing the same shed airspace, will be at risk.

HOW CAN CALVES BE PROTECTED FROM IBR INFECTION?

As there are no “IBR free” calf sales in the UK then you have to assume risk when purchasing calves from markets or herds of unknown status. The simplest solution is to ensure calves are vaccinated to reduce the risk of IBR.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VACCINATE TRADED CALVES?

Ideally all traded beef calves should be vaccinated PRIOR to being sold in a market environment so they have immunity before they are exposed to the main risk period. The SureCalf® programme is designed to encourage sellers to vaccinate against the main calf pneumonia viruses including IBR but sadly there are still many situations where traded calves arrive unvaccinated at markets. For more information please visit surecalf.co.uk

IS IT TOO LATE TO VACCINATE AFTER I PURCHASE CALVES?

Vaccination as soon as possible after calves arrive home from market is still much better than doing nothing and hoping for the best! Single shot modified live IBR vaccines are available (eg Tracherine™, Imuresp™RP, Rispoval® IBR Marker Live) which can be given by the intra-nasal or intra-muscular route, depending on the vaccine., however in a situation of immediate risk it is normally better to administer a modified live vaccine by the intra-nasal route. Ideally calves should be put in quarantine isolation when brought back from market and vaccinated before mixing with any other stock on your farm. In many cases you may also need to consider vaccinating for the other pneumonia viruses like RSV and Pi3. Speak to your vet for advice on the best vaccine option for your situation or visit rispoval.co.uk for more information on calf vaccination options.

A small investment in IBR vaccination can pay massive dividends if it prevents a serious IBR outbreak and that is why every traded beef calf should be vaccinated against IBR.

Tracherine® contains live attenuated Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus strain. POM-V. Imuresp™ RP contains live attenuated PI3 virus, strain ts RLB 103 and live attenuated IBR virus, strain ts RLB 106. (POM-V) Rispoval® IBR-Marker Live contains attenuated gE negative BHV-1 strain Difivac (POM-V)

For further information please see the product SPC, or contact your veterinary surgeon or Zoetis UK Ltd, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7NS. Customer Support 0845 3008034. http://www.zoetis.co.uk/. Always seek the advice of your medicines provider. Use medicines responsibly (http://www.noah.co.uk/responsible). AH737-17