Should I vaccinate?
There are numerous vaccines available to beef producers in northern Australia. Where there is any risk of disease, and a vaccine is available, vaccination to prevent or minimise disease will be a worthwhile investment. Key questions to consider are listed below and veterinary advice is recommended to help formulate a vaccination plan.
Key things to consider when deciding to vaccinate include:
Is the disease present (in my area) or likely to occur on my property?
What is the cost and impact of disease, including welfare and workplace health and safety implications?
Is a vaccine available and what is the efficacy of the vaccine?
What is the cost of the vaccine including mustering and processing of stock?
Are alternate control options available?
What are the cost benefits of adopting a vaccination program including flow on effects for subsequent owners of the stock?
It is important to remember that vaccines:
- are not always 100% protective, and even with vaccination some animals may succumb to disease
- may not be responded to as well by cattle in poor body condition or under severe stress than by healthy cattle
- may not necessarily stop an animal being infected or transmitting the disease – in most cases they stop the outcome of the disease, and they may or may not stop infection
- may mask a disease being present.
These are not reasons not to use a vaccine, but they must be understood to get the best value from a vaccine.