Animal health is a very important aspect of any farm. In this post we summarise the top-performing AgriOrbit posts on the topic. Click away!

1. The Animal Diseases Act: Control of African swine fever

In April 2019 African swine fever (ASF) was detected in areas outside the official ASF control zone in South Africa. Up until 4 November 2019 a total of 19 outbreaks were reported in five of the country’s provinces: North West, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, the Free State and the Northern Cape.

Globally, the disease has spread on a massive scale since 2016. It was reported in China in August 2018, and in Mongolia, Vietnam and Cambodia in 2019.

The effect of an ASF outbreak can be devastating for individual farmers as well as for the industry. There is no vaccine available to prevent the disease. The only control that producers have over the disease is to implement strict biosecurity measures.

Click here to read the full article.

2. A worm strategy that counters resistance

Worm resistance remains a tricky issue to navigate, even if you have a carefully considered worm control programme for your livestock. Stockfarm spoke to a few experts about effective worm control and the ongoing problem of resistance.

Veterinarian and emeritus professor, Dr Gareth Bath, says producers must take note of the different internal parasites found in specific regions. “Conical fluke can cause unpredictable but devastating outbreaks of diarrhoea. Sandveld hookworm can cause severe anaemia in arid areas, while large liver fluke and bilharzia are problematic in the northern regions. These parasites have a significant influence on the complexity of internal parasite control in Southern Africa.”

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3. How to beat bluetongue

Bluetongue virus (BTV) is a non-communicable, insect-borne disease that is seasonally driven by heat, moisture and frost. Biting mosquitoes and midges transmit the virus to ruminants such as sheep and, to a lesser extent, to goats and cattle.

According to Dr Waterman, the BTV vaccine is very effective, provided no shortcuts are taken. He also recommends not to vaccinate ewes during early gestation or in the mating season. “It is, however, safe to vaccinate ewes that have been pregnant for more than three months.”

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4. Three-day stiffsickness: What you should know

South Africa had an exceptionally good, wet summer season in 2005/06. Unfortunately, this led to the outbreak of three-day stiffsickness. During this period, losses amounting to millions of rand were suffered due to declining milk production and soaring cow mortality rates.

Many parts of South Africa have had ample rain this year, and the chances of another outbreak of this disease should not be overlooked. Stockfarm spoke with Dr Brent Sirrals, technical veterinarian at MSD Animal Health to find out more about the disease.

Click on the link below to read more.

5. Control calf diarrhoea with proper care

Diarrhoea and pneumonia are the two most prominent diseases among calves. Calf diarrhoea results in additional expenses and unnecessary losses in the form of mortalities, the cost of medication, labour, substandard growth and a decrease in milk production during a heifer’s first lactation.

“Anyone with calf-rearing experience will agree with this,” says Dr Louis Hoek, a veterinarian at CapeCross Veterinary Services in Tsitsikamma. Dr Hoek notes that calf diarrhoea is also one of the most frustrating conditions to treat, especially since it takes up a considerable amount of time and requires a great deal of patience and dedication.

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6. ‘n Wurmplan wat weerstandigheid teenwerk

Wurmweerstandigheid is en bly ’n tameletjie, selfs al het jy ’n goeddeurdagte wurmbeheerprogram vir jou vee. Veeplaas het met kenners gesels oor doeltreffende wurmbeheer en die voortslepende probleem van weerstandigheid.

7. Applicable injection sites for livestock

Administering treatments to livestock via injection can be a hairy business, in more than one respect. It is therefore essential to take the necessary steps to safeguard your animals against injury, infection and even death, while procedures must be in place to protect the handler and workers.

Stockfarm asked veterinarians Drs Danie Odendaal and Riaan Mulder to shed some light on how a livestock producer should differentiate between the various injection sites (subcutaneous, intramuscular and intravenous) and the procedures that must be followed when injecting an animal.

Click here to read the full article.

8. #VideoVet: Sound health management will optimise reproduction

When referring to reproduction management, the first thing that must be clarified is what the concept involves. Successful reproduction is defined as the ability of animals to breed, conceive, nourish their embryos, and deliver a viable young animal at the end of a normal gestation period. To remain profitable, all cows and ewes must produce a calf, lamb or kid every year.

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9. Bekamp bees respiratoriese siekte só

Beeste het klein, plat longe in verhouding tot hul liggaamsmassa en is baie vatbaar vir lugweginfeksies. Algemene longontsteking in beeste staan bekend as bees respiratoriese siektekompleks (BRS) en dui op brongopneumonie, wat ontsteking van die lugweg en kraniale gedeeltes van die longe behels.

Volgens dr Schabort Froneman van Zoetis, is BRS ’n multifaktoriale siekte wat deur verskeie omgewings- en gesondheidsfaktore veroorsaak word.

Klik hier om die hele artikel te lees.

10. Besmetlike beesrinotrageïtis: Keer voor jou kudde sy laaste asem uitblaas

Talle boere en voerkraaleienaars weet eerstehands watter skade longkwale vir ’n beesboerdery kan inhou. Alhoewel longontsteking ’n multifaktoriale siekte is en ’n groot verskeidenheid virusse daartoe kan lei, word besmetlike beesrinotrageïtis (IBR) gereeld in kuddes en voerkrale gediagnoseer. Hierdie virus is lid van die herpesvirusfamilie en word deur sekere beeste in ’n kudde gedra; dit word uiteindelik uitgeskei wanneer beeste aan stresvolle omstandighede blootgestel is.

Klik op die skakel hieronder om meer te lees.

These articles were originally published in Veeplaas and Stockfarm. To subscribe, please visit or SMS ‘Subscribe’ and your phone number to 064 890 6941.