Newsletter September 2018

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Crosscroft Industrial Estate Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6HX


September 2018 Edition

This month we welcome our new vet, Kay McDonald. Kay graduated from Liverpool University in 2018 with distinction. She’s moved to Appleby from Northumberland to start her career in farm animal practice. If you see her passing by please say hello.

BVD Stamp it out

You may have seen recently in the farming press that the government is putting £5.7 million into BVD control in England.

This money will be available for the next 3 years. BVD is estimated to cost the industry £60 million/year, and causes poor health in calves and infertility and abortion in adults. The aim is to dramatically reduce the prevalence of the disease by testing 50% of farms in England. Many other countries have eradicated BVD or are in the process of doing so, so that BVD eradication is very achievable!

Initially, £61.80 will be available for a ‘check test’ to see if BVD is circulating, all the costs of sampling will be covered as well. If BVD is found to be circulating, £440 is available to do a more detailed search to find any persistently infected cattle.

This funding is available to all cattle farmers, including those who are already BVD accredited or are tissue tagging. Even if you are vaccinating it would still be worthwhile making the most of this opportunity to test, to check that vaccination is working effectively.

We will be running meetings to discuss BVD and how to access this funding ­ currently we have 2 meetings planned:

Wednesday 26th September, 7pm Tuesday 6th November, 12:30pm

In order to access the funding farmers must attend one of the meetings and sign up prior to the meeting.

Both meetings are at Appleby Golf Club. Pie and peas will be provided!

Places are limited to 10 farms per meeting, although if there is a lot of interest we will arrange meetings for next year.

Tethera at Appleby show

Congratulations to Show Quiz winners!

Appleby show quiz was won by the Hewitt family, Bankhead. Dufton and Crosby show quiz was won by Jo Brown, Bow Hall. Thank you to everyone that entered.




Rams make up half of the flock, so it is important to make sure they are in optimal condition for tupping time! Using an unsound ram will decrease your lambing percentage and result in a protracted lambing period. It takes 7 weeks for a ram to produce sperm, so it’s important to check him over well in advance of the breeding season. Here are a few things to look out for…

Body condition ­ rams in the optimum BCS of 3­3.5 produce a significantly higher amount of testosterone than thinner or fatter tups.

Sperm production can be increased by 100% with good nutritional uptake prior to mating, although it’s important that the tup is fed a diet low in phosphate and magnesium to prevent a blocked bladder! Check teeth, feet and for other diseases which may decrease his BCS. The tups scrotal circumference should be more than 32cm ­ any less may be a sign of reduced fertility. The testes should be an even size, firm, freely mobile and with no lumps or bumps. We recommend semen testing the tups before they are put in with the ewes so that infertile or subfertile tups can be identified before it is too late



Clinical trial

We are participating in a clinical trial into foul in the foot in dairy cows. The aim of the study is to identify the different strains of the bacteria which cause the problem. Any dairy or beef farm can participate. The study requires a swab to be taken from an animal which has not been footbathed or had antibiotic treatment within the past 3 weeks. A swab and medium are provided and the sampling can be done by yourselves or a vet.

To take the sample, clean the foot with water only and then dry the space between the toes. The swab needs to be taken from the centre of the foul lesion and put in the fridge until it can be sent off.

Please let us know if you are interested in taking part in this study.