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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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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for three months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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News Shorts
BSAVA rolls out CPD resources and benefits in absence of Congress

A package of CPD resources and benefits are set to be rolled out on BSAVA's social media channels over the coming days in a bid to fill the gap left by the cancellation of BSAVA Congress.

The package includes a 10 discount voucher on all printed manuals and access to the BSAVA Library. BSAVA said that it will also be recording more than 100 hours of planned Congress lectures over the following weeks so that vets don't completely miss out on the Congress experience.

The resource, titled Congress on Demand will be ready in early May.