Pestivirus is widespread throughout the Australian cattle population. The signs of infection are very mild and once contracted adult animals are immune. However, if a cow that is 3 to 4 months pregnant contracts it and the foetus survives it is likely to be persistently affected. Usually these calves are sickly and die however some look normal. These persistently affected animals spread the disease. All sale bulls are tested to ensure they are not persistently infected with Pestivirus and vaccinated with Pestiguard.
KNOWN GENETIC DISEASES AM, NH, CA, MA, DD
We strategically test our herd to ensure these diseases are not proliferated or passed on to our clients. In addition we always test our sires to ensure our animals are free regardless.
Bovine Johne’s disease is a fatal wasting disease of cattle goats, alpaca and deer. The bacterium Mycobacterium paratuberculosis that causes it can survive 12 months or more in wet areas. Usually it is only contracted by cattle when they are less than 12 months (and mostly less than 3 months) of age from the udders of their dams. It has a long incubation period with clinical signs not developing for 4 or 5 years. Blood testing can detect it much earlier but not until the animal is over 24 months. It is far more common in dairy herds than in beef herds.
For many years we participated in the CATTLEMAP BJD Assurance Program being MN3 since 2003. However with the change to this program whereby the onus on individual breeders and purchasers we made the decision not to undertake another 3 year stint. It has in any case always been about the rigour of property and herd management so we will maintain this diligently. Biosecurity Plan in place so Level 6.
STRUCTURE AND PERFORMANCE
We have been a Breedplan recorded herd since 1990 and since that time have recorded and submitted data on our whole herd each year in order to generate meaningful estimated breeding values EBV’s. A part of this is having an accredited and independent assessor latterly Roger Evans scan for Eye Muscle Area, fat including Intramuscular Fat and measurement and inspection of Scrotal Size. We also have Roger assess feet, legs, naval/pizzle, temperament and muscle score. In addition we have the pelvic area of heifers and bulls assessed by a Vet. We cull any animal that does not meet seed stock quality.
All Bulls have been tested for soundness by a Vet prior to being offered for sale. However if up to 12 months after delivery an animal is proved to be infertile or incapable of natural service (not resulting from an ccident), we will offer a suitable replacement or credit for our next sale group, minus the salvage value of the animal. This is provided the problem was not caused after the sale. The guarantee covers the purchase value of the bull, without interest and damages. The claim must be accompanied by a relevant veterinary certificate.
There has been some incidence of the Red Gene in Murray Greys and so we now have our walking sires tested for this. We now also test all sale bulls. No positive test to date.