Beef up on threats to cattle productivity

Hunter beef producers have the opportunity to learn more about key threats to their cattle at an information session being hosted by Hunter Local Land Services in Wallarobba on Friday,January 29.
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District veterinarian Digby Rayward said the free information session will address dealing with animal health issues such as selenium deficiency, theileria and pestivirus.

“Selenium deficiency can affect the productivity of beef cattle so it is important to know what low Selenium means and the options available such as supplementing stock,”Mr Rayward said.

“Selenium deficiency has been linked to infertility problems but importantly to the immune system. We will discuss some of the field observations seen with selenium deficiency including the possible ramifications in young stock.”

Mr Rayward said theileria was a protozoan disease passed onto the stock by ticks.

“We are currently seeing a spike in theileria cases and this information session will update producers on this disease,”he said

“Pestivirus can destroy the immune system in affected stock – producing a condition similar to AIDS – affected animals may be stunted or initially appear normal – but as the immune system is compromised they are likely to succumb to any number of bacterial or viral agents.

“It alsothrows up similar questions about what to do to address it. Do I vaccinate or simply go with the flow?”

Mr Rayward said the information session was an invaluable chance for local beef producers to learn more about these health issues and potential solutions.

“The session is a great investment in time, as it gives producers an opportunity to get access to expert advice from district veterinarians, and ask questions that relate to their particular situations,” he said.

The event will also help determine what future events and information sessions will be offered in 2016. Hunter Local Land Services has hosted a wide range of information sessions and activities to support beef producers, who generate more than $370 million each year.

“We are keen to hear from customers about the areas where their productivity could be increased, or where they just need more information,” he said.

The information session will be held at Wallarobba Hall on 29 January from 9.30am to 12pm, followed by lunch. Please register by contacting Kyra on 4939 8967.

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