Category: Animal Health

Determining where to cut antimicrobial use for dairy calves

All livestock producers have been urged to cut unnecessary antibiotic use, to try to prevent resistant bacteria from developing in their herds and flocks. But on the farm, the question is where, and how? Consider dairy calves, for example. More than half of the deaths of dairy calves are from diarrhea. Producers often treat that… Read more »

Toxins in the feed — Identifying and managing mycotoxins

We often focus our efforts on what to add to a total mixed ration in order to offer our animals the highest plane of nutrition necessary for their life stage. But, what about the substances that could create serious health concerns, or even death? “Moulds are a fungal growth, and the mycotoxins are actually a… Read more »

Livestock disease winging its way north as climate warms

Flying, biting midges (Culicoides spp.) — sometimes called no-see-ums — are a scourge to wildlife. Hunters recognize their effects on deer in particular, which are highly susceptibility to a group of midge-transmitted viruses. But there are growing concerns about their potential effect on livestock, too. Here’s why. A midge swarm will blood-feed on animals, causing… Read more »

Canadian agriculture’s Prescription Drug List set to expand

As part of the Government of Canada’s move to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials, Health Canada is moving all medically-important antimicrobials (MIA) used in food production to the Prescription Drug List, effective December 1, 2018. According to Health Canada, “supervision is a vital part of antimicrobial oversight. Veterinarians have the training to assess and diagnose… Read more »

MPs examine truckwash policy as PEDv outbreak continues in Manitoba

The House of Commons agriculture committee held an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) outbreak in southeast Manitoba. There have been at least 20 confirmed on-farm cases since May 2. To put that number in perspective, Manitoba previously only had 10 PEDv-positive barns dating back to 2014 when the… Read more »

The Cost of Mycotoxin in Feed, Plus Feeding Strategies to Ease Heat Stress

Summer may feel a long way off, but being prepared to manage heat stress in dairy cattle goes a long way in warding off the production losses that go along with it. We’re also well into the 2016 feed crop, and there are reports of several farmers struggling to keep mycotoxin (specifically DON/vomitoxin) levels low enough… Read more »

First PEDv Case of 2017 Confirmed in Ontario Finisher Barn

Ontario Pork announced February 23, 2017, that it had confirmed the 100th Ontario case of PED (porcine epidemic diarrhea) virus. It is the first confirmed case this year. The virus was confirmed Wednesday, February 22, 2017, in a finisher barn in Haldimand-Norfolk county. No other details have been released at this time. Read more: Managing… Read more »

Know the Signs of Rabies in Livestock

Recent positive rabies cases on a few farms in Ontario’s Perth County are a stark reminder of this ever-present, reportable disease in livestock. While livestock cases of rabies are rare, it’s safe to assume the virus circulates in wildlife nearly constantly, albeit at a low level. Exposed livestock, likely from a bite, tend to exhibit… Read more »

Charting a Future for Antimicrobials on the Farm

How will Canada’s animal agriculture industry be utilizing antimicrobial drugs, including antibiotics, five years from now? Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Tim McAllister doesn’t have all the answers, but he does offer insights on how the industry can more effectively use antibiotics, assure the public it’s working to manage resistance, and help safeguard the drug’s ability… Read more »

CFIA Proposes Changes to Animal Transport Rules

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has proposed changes to the rules for the transportation of animals. Discussions about changes to the transport regulations, most of which have been in place since 1977, have been ongoing for a number of years. The draft amendments were finally published in Canada Gazette on December 3 (read the entire proposal here.) The… Read more »

$16.7 Million Committed to AgriRecovery Compensation for Bovine TB Quarantine

$16.7 million has been set aside for an AgriRecovery program to help cattle producers in Alberta affected by the bovine TB quarantine. While Alberta’s Treasury Board has yet to approve the funding, federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced the dollar figure in the House of Commons on Wednesday. The “2016 Bovine Tuberculosis Assistance Initiative” will provide… Read more »

Lack of Government Compensation for Quarantined Cattle Inexcusable

With the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) tuberculosis investigation ongoing and no clearly-defined ending in sight, concern is rising for the ranches involved. Currently, compensation only exists if animals need to be destroyed. At the Agriculture Committee meeting in Ottawa this week, it was made very clear that the status quo is going to leave… Read more »

Agribition Showcases Canadian Cattle Genetics to the World

The Canadian Western Agribition happens each November in Regina, Sask. When the middle of the city’s Evraz Place becomes a riding arena and the barns fill with the fluffiest, meatiest cattle Canadian ranchers have to offer. Shaun Haney and Kelvin Heppner are touring said barns this week, and Shaun caught up with Chad McPherson, general… Read more »

TB Investigation Expected to Take Several Months

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it expects the investigation following the case of bovine tuberculosis in southeast Alberta will take several months to complete. Around 30 farms have been quarantined following the discovery of bovine TB by U.S. officials in an animal originating from a ranch in the southeast part of the province in… Read more »

The Science Behind the Ewe-Lamb Bond and Why it Matters

It’s estimated that lamb losses amount to over $5 million a year to the Ontario sheep industry — and that’s just Ontario. For an industry that’s trying to off-set significant imports from the likes of New Zealand and Australia, those lost lambs amount to lost market share. While some losses occur in pregnancy, the majority occur… Read more »