6 Oct 2018
Respiratory disease is estimated to cost the UK cattle industry £80 million annually (between £30 for mild cases to £500 when the animal dies).
Financial losses result from mortality and antibiotic treatment costs, but the greatest loss is from weight loss during illness affecting a large proportion of the group and their protracted convalescence. Respiratory disease is also a major animal welfare concern.
Respiratory disease is best prevented by a combination of good management, appropriate building design and ventilation, and effective vaccination against the major pathogens on that particular unit well before the risk period. The selection of an effective vaccination strategy will form an important part of the herd health plan drawn up in conjunction with the farmer’s veterinary surgeon.