Australia’s largest cattle feedlot and processing group, JBS Australia, will only accept cattle vaccinated with Bovilis MH+IBR to help control the effects of Bovine Respiratory Disease from September 1 in its NSW feedlots.
JBS Australia takes the health and welfare of the cattle in their care seriously and is striving to do everything they can to reduce sickness and mortalities at their feedlots.
JBS believes the cattle industry has a responsibility to drive animal welfare improvements and pre-vaccination of cattle with Bovilis MH+IBR on farm prior to feedlot induction is the best defence against BRD.
Bovilis MH+IBR helps prepare cattle for when they arrive at the feedlot and protect them from BRD-related sickness and reduces the risk of mortalities.
This allows JBS to focus on maximising the performance of cattle and lead the way in animal welfare best practice.
JBS Australia northern livestock manager Scott Cardwell said the critical point of BRD prevention in cattle happened on farm, prior to feedlot induction, making BRD pre-vaccination the last piece of the puzzle in terms of striving for the highest animal welfare standards.
“The risk of BRD is at its peak in the first couple of weeks at the feedlot and the critical point of prevention happens on-farm prior to feedlot induction. Vaccinating prior to feedlot entry with Bovilis MH+IBR has two main benefits,” Mr Carswell said.
“Firstly, when cattle are pre-vaccinated in an unstressed environment, they are expected to develop a better response to the vaccine.
“Secondly, and most importantly, pre-vaccinated cattle have a higher level of protection at the time of maximum risk, which is immediately following feedlot induction.”
It will be mandatory from September 1 all cattle entering JBS feedlots in Caroona, Prime City and Riverina have at least one shot of Bovilis MH+IBR from 180 days to 14 days prior to delivery.
“At JBS Australia, we believe effective BRD prevention is extremely important, in addition to mandating the use of Bovilis MH+IBR, we will continue to pay a premium for Bovilis MH+IBR pre-vaccinated cattle of $15 per head,” Mr Carswell said.
“At the end of the day, it’s a win-win situation for producers. They get paid to pre-vaccinate with a product that could improve the performance of their cattle on farm, and we get healthy and high-performing cattle delivered to our feedlots.”
Australia’s leading quick service restaurant, McDonald’s, has declared its support of JBS Australia’s policy to improve animal health and welfare practices.
“McDonald’s is committed to working with suppliers that share our commitment to improving animal health and welfare practices,” a McDonald’s Australia spokesperson said.
“JBS Australia’s pre-vaccination program across their NSW feedlots will help accelerate the beef industry towards a greater level of best practice, and positively reduce the use of antibiotics in the beef supply chain.”
JBS Australia understands changes to production practices take time and will be taking a stepped approach to implement the Bovilis MH+BR pre-vaccination program prior to the mandatory September 1 cut-off.
In the lead up to the cut-off date, JBS will continue to receive unvaccinated cattle during August 2021, but will apply a $0.05/kg discount to these cattle. For all pre-vaccinated cattle, JBS will continue to pay a $15 premium per head to cover the cost of vaccination with Bovilis MH+IBR.
BRD is a devastating respiratory condition affecting cattle of all ages and the leading cause of mortality within the cattle industry.
There are two main pathogens that cause BRD, Mannheimia haemolytica(MH) and Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis Virus(IBR).
Both pathogens are known to cause BRD, but IBR in particular can spread rapidly when cattle are stressed due to transport, mixed with other cattle from different farms, and introduced to different feed.
Mr Cardwell said JBS Australia wanted all cattle to be pre-vaccinated with the Bovilis MH+IBR vaccine from Coopers Animal Health, as it’s the only vaccination available in Australia protecting against both the two main pathogens causing BRD.
“JBS has been using the two shot Bovilis MH+IBR protocol for many years, and has found it is easily the gold standard when it comes to BRD protection,” he said.
Bovilis MH+IBR reduces BRD-related sickness and mortalities, and also reduces the use of antibiotics in our yards.”
Bovilis MH+IBR is readily available at all rural and animal health suppliers, and producers can visit the Coopers Animal Health website to find their nearest stockist here.