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Health risks & diseases

Learn more about the risks that face your herd.

BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea)

BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) is a viral disease of cattle which is wide-spread in New Zealand.

Affecting both dairy and beef herds, it is estimated that about half of herds are “actively-infected” with BVD at any given time and the cost of BVD to the New Zealand cattle industry is around $150 million a year.

BVD can cause pregnancy loss, diarrhoea, milk drop, and reduced growth rates. It also suppresses the immune system, making animals more susceptible to other diseases, such as pneumonia and salmonella.

For more information on this disease watch the following videos.

BRD (Bovine Respiratory Disease)

Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) is a complex disorder of cattle causing respiratory disease and even death. It is caused by a combination of infectious agents and stress factors (weaning, transport, mixing, weather extremes, dust, handling and change of diet) acting on susceptible cattle in paddock and more intensive systems.

Signs of BRD include:

  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dullness
  • Coughing
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Watery, then purulent nasal and/or eye discharge
  • Excess salivation

Due to the intensification of farming, BRD may have a larger impact on New Zealand in the future than what we have seen historically. Most cattle are susceptible to BRD at some point, and it can impact performance.

Calf Scours

Neonatal diarrhoea is arguably one of the most common diseases of newborn calves worldwide. The consequences on animal welfare and those managing the calves can be devastating. The cost of mortality, poor growth and performance as well as treatment costs, all need to be considered. The infectious agents that cause neonatal calf diarrhoea are prevalent in New Zealand. In a recent survey 96% of farms in New Zealand had pathogens that can cause calf scours detected1.

For more information on this disease and calf health in general watch the following videos:

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