More dairy farmers than ever are shutting down their cow vaccination programs. Dairy cows are recommended to be vaccinated against leptospirosis and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), but dairy farmers have continually claimed that the vaccines are a huge waste of money in a milk industry that’s getting the lowest returns they’ve ever seen. Both the leptospirosis and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) are a huge way for dairy farmers to save money and create profits.
But not everyone is happy about the decision many fo the farmers are making not to vaccinate their milk cows. In fact, much the same as the argument is presented with people; they are being threatened by “herd immunity” statuses. The claim is that the longer they go without vaccinating their animals, the more likely that it is that “herd immunity” wanes and “all cows end up sick.” This is, of course, a way for pharmaceutical companies to turn dairy farmers who choose to vaccinate their cows against those who do not. A UK based website, fwi.com, interviewed local vets regarding the matter.
“In the long-term, as the historic vaccine protection wanes, the herd will be at risk of infection, which could result in reproductive losses and severe milk drop”
Wendy Welford, Clevedale Vet PracticeADVERTISEMENT
David Campion from Priory Veterinary Centre in Newton Stewart, Scotland, says it a conversation he has regularly with farmers.
Dairy farmers risk creating a “vulnerable population” if they stop vaccinating against IBR and leptospirosis in a bid to save money, Mr Campion warns.
The pharmaceutical line is always the same, whether we are talking about people or animals: “Herd immunity” and “vulnerable population.” These terms are used arbitrarily to threaten the farmers. But as you can see, two years has already gone by in some cases and yet nothing apocalyptic has ensued. The grave and dire threats of losing herds of cows are still something of a myth these vets tend to be creating. One “study” even goes as far as to say that dairy cows not vaccinated against leptospirosis could infect humans.
Case Study 4: Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis occurs in 60% of UK dairy herds, is an important bacterial disease of cattle and can lead to significant economic losses through symptoms as varied as abortion, reproductive failure and loss of milk production. Leptospirosis can also be transmitted from cows to humans where it can cause a flu-like syndrome. Vaccination against leptospirosis will protect cattle from developing the disease and thus economic benefits for the farmer. Vaccination also has human health benefits as it will prevent transmission to farm workers.
Pharmaceuticals will do or say anything to push or intimidate people into using vaccines on themselves or even their animals.