Screening has shown 84% of sheep farms in South Otago have had exposure to Campylobacter, slightly higher than the national average of 80%. Campy can be spread by introduced carrier sheep, ingestion of contaminated feed or water or by direct contact with infected foetuses or foetal membranes. Black backed gulls and hawks may act as mechanical vectors for the spread of Campy. Scanning results from Hawkes Bay looking at the effect of Campy vaccination indicate an increase of: -
· 6.8 – 11.4% in MA ewes (when vaccinated as a two tooth).
· 6.9 – 14% in two-tooths.
· 10.6 – 20.8% (average 16.9) in hoggets.
CampyVax4 is given to the first lambers 6 weeks and again 2 weeks pre-tup. Where the first lambers are hoggets a booster should be given as a two-tooth. Other than this particular instance annual boosters are not needed (even though the package insert with the vaccine says to give one) as natural challenge in the field effectively acts as a booster. CampyVax4 is generally in stock here so pre-ordering is not necessary but giving us an idea of your requirements does assist in ordering and stock control.
Many of you do vaccinate with these vaccines – slightly more use Toxovax than CampyVax4. However, when you look at the above figures (and I am quite sure that these figures will apply to all NZ, not just Hawkes Bay, as other work done on these diseases has shown pretty consistent trends across the whole country) I would suggest every sheep farmer should be vaccinating for both diseases. It just makes economic sense to do so, even more so now with lamb prices up in the three figures.
Sheep Newsletter - Feb 2012
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