Pestivirus – can you afford to ignore the risk?

November 3, 2010

Pestivirus has been a regular topic of discussion for many farmers in the last few
years. With around 90% of all herds showing some level of exposure to Pestivirus, it is a problem which cannot be ignored.

Many local producers have seen their profitability decimated due to the disease, which is often identified in poor pregnancy testing results. For producers who do not preg test, the impact of Pestivirus becomes apparent at calving. For others, the disease is not so obvious. The dry seasons that have been experienced lately have sometimes disguised the presence of the disease in a herd.

President of Double B Beef, Jen Capel said, “Cattle producers face a serious threat to their “bottom line” if Pestivirus sneaks into herds undetected. Some of our members’ herds have been badly hit by the disease, with the consequent financial losses causing a lot of stress.  If our organisation can raise awareness of the effects of this disease, then everyone stands to benefit.”

To this end, Double B Beef is hosting a Pestivirus Information Morning next Monday, November 8 when results of a survey recently conducted amongst members and compiled by LHPA Veterinarian Ted Irwin will be discussed, as well as presentations made by experts in the field. Pfizer Head Veterinarian, Dr Lee Taylor will present the findings from a large study recently conducted by Pfizer Australia.

Pestivirus is a real threat to cattle breeders’ profitability. Many cattle producers know through first hand experience over the last five years that the introduction of Pestivirus into a naïve herd can have disastrous results, with losses of between 25 and 50% as a “wave” of animals are infected.

The disease has been endemic in Australia for around 40 years; a very long time to be suffering calving loss and stunted growth. The committee of Double B Beef has been working on the issue for some time, gathering information to present to members.

All cattle producers interested in hearing about the levels of Pestivirus in this area, potential herd and economic effects, along with management strategies to control Pestivirus can attend the morning at Don and Jen Capel’s property “The Oaks”.

As an extra incentive to bring the disease under control, some feedlots are now paying a bonus for cattle vaccinated according to the “Feeder guard” programme (which includes “Pestiguard”) and many breed societies are now joining the “Pfizer star” programme to show they are Pestivirus free.

Monday, November 8, 9.30am
“The Oaks”,
Killarney Gap Rd

All welcome