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Vets urged to have early conversations with farmers about leptospirosis
Leptospirosis is a costly disease, thought to cost farmers and average of £270 a cow.

Disease can be prevented through vaccination and biosecurity management

Vets and SQPs are being advised to hold conversations early with cattle farmers about the management of leptospirosis and the advantages of vaccination.


Leptospirosis is a costly disease, thought to cost farmers an average of £270 a cow. However, experts at MSD Animal Heath stress that the disease can be prevented through vaccination and biosecurity management. 


“We need to help farmers understand the impact of leptospirosis infection on their herd, with many not aware of their herd’s current infection status unless there has been a serious outbreak,” commented Steph Small, MSD Animal Health dairy veterinary advisor.


“Vets can open the conversation about clinical signs, including a drop in milk yield, fever, loss of appetite and abortion. However, more often there may be a long-term economic impact of infection caused by more insidious signs, including reduced fertility and overall cow performance.”


MSD Animal Health notes that the key prevention measure is vaccination, starting with heifers and continuing with annual boosters throughout the cow’s lifetime.

“Vaccination is the most reliable method of control, preferably with a vaccine licensed to protect against both strains of leptospirosis present in the UK, L. borgpetersenii hardjo and L. interrogans hardjo, such as LEPTAVOID®-H,” Steph continues. 


“Not only does LEPTAVOID-H protect against both strains, but it has also been proven to increase conception rates where leptospirosis is diagnosed as a cause of infertility. In split herd trials, cows vaccinated with LEPTAVOID-H had a 20 per cent higher conception rate than unvaccinated cows.”


Steph reiterates that, with the high-risk period of infection at spring turnout, the timing of advising farmers.

“Having these discussions over the winter about current herd infection status and leptospirosis prevention strategies will allow protocols to be implemented in time,” concludes Steph.

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Government to run free webinars on exporting horses

News Story 1
 The UK government has announced that it will be running two free webinars for horse owners and exporters, explaining what steps to take to export horses from 1 January 2021.

The first webinar will take place on Tuesday 20 October 2020, from 9.30am to 11am. It will cover Export Health Certificate (EHC) requirements from 1 January 2021. Click here to register.

The second webinar will take place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, from 10.30am to 12pm. This session will focus on the steps that businesses need to take to export equines from the UK to the EU. Click here to register.

For more information on exporting horses and ponies after 1 January 2021, please visit the gov.uk website. 

Click here for more...
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