June 15, 2017


MSD encourages cattle farmers to learn from one another about the benefits of vaccination

MSD Animal Health has announced the European launch of Time to Vaccinate, a new programme to help farmers better appreciate the benefits of vaccinating their cattle.


Vaccinations, as part of an overall prevention programme, can greatly contribute to the reduction in severity and frequency of infectious diseases, including the need for some medicines, like antibiotics, to treat infections.


"We are excited to introduce Time to Vaccinate, an initiative focused on connecting farmers who want to learn more about a preventive approach to managing their herds with farmers who utilise a vaccination protocol on their farms," says Klaas Okkinga, marketing director, Global Ruminants Biologicals. "Keeping animals healthy is at the core of everything we do at MSD Animal Health, and making peer-to-peer connections plays a vital role in learning."


Despite information showing the benefits of vaccination as part of a preventative plan, farmers often wait to vaccinate until clinical disease occurs. The goal of the Time to Vaccinate initiative is to shift farmers' focus from making animals healthy to keeping them healthy.


Increasing the vaccination rate and therefore the immunity against pathogens calves and adult cattle are generally exposed to, allows improved productivity, general health and animal wellness.


"Vaccines are indispensable tools to prevent potentially dangerous infectious diseases, maintain animal welfare, and optimise production," explains Dr. Catharina Berge, of Berge Veterinary Consulting, BVBA. "Today, only about 20% of farmers in Europe vaccinate for some of the most common diseases identified on farms. If more did so, we would see an industry that could reach impressive production goals, with strong return on investment and possibly the elimination of diseases."


The programme, which features farmers providing their stories about how they manage disease, will roll out in countries throughout the year. Testimonials, trainings and real-time connections will provide a new way of thinking for many farmers, while giving them a chance to learn from peers who understand exactly what it takes to keep herds productive.


To learn more about the programme, please contact your MSD Animal Health representative or visit www.timetovaccinate.com