August 29, 2018
Bayer furthers cattle health through science, practice-oriented approaches
Bayer reinforces its commitment to enhancing cattle health and management by supporting cattle professionals around the world with scientific education and technological advancements.
At the recent 30th World Buiatrics Congress in Sapporo, Japan, which brought together over 2,000 global cattle experts, Bayer launched new tools to help advance cattle well-being in practice-oriented ways.
Inviting experts to discuss key topics fundamental to cattle health and well-being, the International Bayer Cattle Symposium took place alongside the Congress. Topics covered included optimising treatment of bovine respiratory disease (BRD), bovine coccidiosis management, metabolic health in transition cows and calf nutrition. The programme also included a roundtable discussion to establish how cattle well-being can be further advanced with a collaborative approach between stakeholders.
The roundtable discussion drew on the importance of a collaborative approach between stakeholders as essential to further advancing cattle well-being.
Panellists were Ruaraidh Petre, executive director of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef; Mark Bryan, consultant veterinarian at VetSouth, New Zealand; and Rinse Boersma, head of dairy marketing at animal health, Bayer, who put forward perspectives from stakeholders across the cattle value chain.
Boersma, who also facilitated the discussion, said: "Support and collaboration among all stakeholders is essential in the journey to further advance cattle well-being, and we take our role in this very seriously. Here at Bayer, we understand that cattle professionals are deeply committed to the well-being of their animals, and we look to support them in this, through continued research, scientific education and technological advancements."
Antibiotics and their responsible use in farm animals is a topic of growing global emphasis, and livestock professionals play a vital role in this area. Professor Joseph Blondeau of the Royal University Hospital and University of Saskatchewan in Canada, stated the importance of choosing the most appropriate antibiotic for initial treatment.
"Antibiotics are vital for the health of both people and animals, and should always be used responsibly. It is important to ensure that the right antibiotic is used from the outset, at the necessary dose and duration, to help maximise treatment efficacy and minimise resistance selection," Dr. Joseph said. "Good antibiotic stewardship for BRD management can help reduce the overall need for antibiotic treatments in the long run and will ultimately result in better cattle health."
Other speakers at the symposium addressed key cattle health topics, including Professor Heidi Enemark from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute in Norway, who discussed the importance of proper management of bovine coccidiosis on farms.
"Coccidiosis is a common disease affecting both beef and dairy cattle. If left undiagnosed and untreated, coccidiosis can significantly impact calf well-being, as well as increase mortality and costs for the farm," Enemark explained.
"It is vital that strategies to mitigate its impact are employed on farm, including good hygiene and calf health management, proper monitoring, early diagnosis and optimal timing of treatment."
Professor Michael Steele of the University of Alberta in Canada, reviewed advancements in neonatal calf nutrition, another key area of good dairy cattle management.
"Timely delivery of large volumes of high-quality colostrum is an important aspect to establish calf health for future productivity. Colostrum contains an abundance of energy, macromolecules and bioactive compounds besides IgG which are vital to enable a calf to thrive," Steele said.
Professor Thomas Overton of Cornell University in the US, highlighted the importance of metabolic management in transition cows.
"Many farms have excellent control of clinical disease issues in transition cows; however, subclinical disease can negatively impact cattle health, resulting in reduced productivity and significant economic losses. The correct management of cattle during this time helps to prevent subclinical issues and optimise metabolism of transition cows; monitoring systems for hyperketonemia and other indicators of metabolism and management should be deployed at the herd level to assist in management decisions," Overton elaborated.
Bayer also introduced new practice-oriented tools to support livestock professionals to further advance cattle health and well-being. These tools include: "i-COWNT BRD", a digital comparison tool for different antibiotics used for the treatment of bovine respiratory disease (BRD); and two "Practical Animal Well-Being" brochures for better on-farm handling of beef and dairy cattle that were developed in collaboration with independent cattle well-being experts and the World Farmers' Organisation.
In keeping with its leadership in ectoparasite control, Bayer also introduced the concept and importance of customised parasite control through "Virtual Farm", an educational virtual reality experience of flies, the various types and their impact on cattle. These were showcased alongside Bayer's Calf Resilience Program and the "BCS Cowdition" smartphone application for scoring the body condition of dairy cows.
At the congress, Bayer presented 11 scientific posters, covering parasite control, susceptibility monitoring of antibiotics used in the therapy of mastitis and respiratory diseases, and a survey of the prevalence of subclinical ketosis during early lactation worldwide, amongst others.