MSD Animal Health launches herd initiative

A national programme to encourage more farmers to increase vaccination rates and accept the importance of preventive health has been launched by a pharmaceutical firm.

MSD Animal Health has launched “Disease? Not on my farm!” to encourage farmers to work more closely with their vets on herd health planning, to prevent disease in their animals.

The company said farms are facing increasing pressure from regulation, changing consumer expectations and ever-present challenges from economically intrusive diseases.

At a launch event at a working dairy farm near Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, MSD estimated vaccination usage for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) has reduced in the past few years to 26.3 per cent, and 23.4 per cent for infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR).

Rosie Booth, MSD’s ruminant business unit director, said: “Despite the economic significance of these diseases being a factor farmers cannot afford to ignore, some still are.

“There is a real need to address the common perception among farmers that vaccination suggests disease is present in a herd, when, in actual fact, it’s a case of proactive and preventive disease management.”

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