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Angus Journal
Copyright © 2015
Angus Journal

Minimize Reproductive Diseases

Management decisions can minimize reproductive diseases.

by Kasey Miller, associate editor

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dec. 4, 2012) — Reproductive diseases affect cattle at all stages of reproduction, from preconception to postcalving, and can cause significant losses, Russ Daly, Extension veterinarian at South Dakota State University told attendees of the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle (ARSBC) symposium Dec. 3-4, 2012, in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Russ Daly The biggest risk factor to an operation’s biosecurity is incoming animals, said SDSU's Russ Daly.

Due to the severity of these diseases, it is imperative to keep the problems out of the herd with a biosecurity plan. The factors of disease — host, environment, agent and management — all interact with each other, so producers should know that solutions should consider all factors (see Fig. 1 below).

The biggest risk factor to an operation’s biosecurity is incoming animals. Daly said that visitors, equipment, etc., are also considerations, but they pale in comparison to the risk associated with incoming animals.

In developing a biosecurity plan, Daly recommended four steps:

Other management considerations he mentioned included the group composition (number of new animals and number of new sources), segregation from higher-risk groups (keeping new animals away from breeding females) and group size.

The most prevalent reproductive diseases, such as BVD, trichomoniasis (trich), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), leptospirosis, vibriosis and neospora, are some of the most devastating reproductive diseases, so it is integral to develop a biosecurity program and working relationship with your veterinarian to combat these diseases. Work with your veterinarian to develop a testing, preventative treatment and vaccination protocol that works for your operation, he urged.

Click hereto view larger image of Fig. 1: The epidemiologic triad.

Daly spoke during Tuesday's ARSBC session focused on vaccination and pregnancy determination. Visit the Newsroom at to listen to this presentation and to view the PowerPoint slides and proceedings paper submitted by Daly to accompany it.

Comprehensive coverage of the symposium is available online at Compiled by the Angus Journal editorial team, the site is made possible through sponsorship by the Beef Reproductive Task Force and

Editor's Note: This article was written under contract or by staff of the Angus Journal. To request reprint permission and guidelines, contact Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, at 816-383-5270.