What is in this article?:
In dual surveys of BEEF readers and bovine veterinarians, the two audiences provide their unique perspectives on the veterinarian/client relationship and contrast their thoughts on various industry issues.
See more charts and figures from the survey here.
High confidence in vets
Producers generally feel their local veterinarians are well prepared to address a broad range of cattle health issues and problems impacting their herd. Of producer respondents, 26.7% said their local veterinarians were extremely well-prepared, while 39.2% said very well-prepared. Another 28.1% said adequate, and 6% said they are not well-prepared.
Producers were asked how often they seek advice from their veterinarian in areas such as breeding/genetics, marketing, nutrition, beef quality, facilities design, etc. Only 7.9% said often, and 28.9% said sometimes. The biggest share (31.7%) said almost never, while 31.5% said seldom.
Asked the same question about their clients, 26.5% of responding veterinarians said their clients often sought such advice outside of direct herd health concerns, and 45.8% said sometimes. Another 21.7% said seldom, and 6% said almost never.
When producers were asked if veterinarians should be compensated for such advice, only 11.7% said yes, while 35.5% said no. Another 31.4% said it’s difficult to put a price on this type of service, and 21.4% believed such service was already built into the veterinarian’s pricing.
Among veterinarians responding to the same question, 44.6% said yes to expecting compensation for such advice, while another 44.6% said it’s difficult to price this type of service. The remaining 10.8% said the service was already built into their pricing.
One veterinarian remarked that “We need to encourage prevention as opposed to cures – particularly in herd health and reproductive management. We don’t make producers money by pulling calves and fixing prolapses. We make them money by making them better producers and finding non-productive animals.”
Producers also were asked if they had worked with their vet in developing a biosecurity plan for their operation. Only 9.9% said yes, while 90.1% said no.
Among producers, the most listed component in a biosecurity plan was prompt disposal of dead animals (89.1%), followed by:
- Keep records of all disease occurrences and treatments – 82.6%
- Vaccinate against endemic disease – 80.4%
- Purchase feed from reputable sources – 75.4%
- Have your vet necropsy animals that die from unknown causes – 71%
- Quarantine newly acquired animals or reintroduced animals – 69.6%
- Isolate sick animals in a designated hospital pen – 68.8%
- Control and monitor access to your operation – 66.7%
- Screen animals for suspected disease problems, such as PI BVD, trichomoniasis, etc. – 63.8%
- Know incoming animals’ health history – 59.4%
- Euthanize chronically sick animals – 58.7%
- Don’t place cattle of different ages in the same pen – 39.9%
- Clean boots and clothing when working animals with different health status – 38.4%
- Emergency preparedness for foreign animal diseases – 34.1%
- Practice “all-in, all-out” animal movement in pens and pastures – 33.3%
- Try to place receiving and load-out facilities at the perimeter of the operation – 28.3%
- Work younger or healthier animals first, then older, higher-risk animals – 28.3%
A Closer Look: Feedyard Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready?
When producers were asked how prepared they felt veterinarians in their community were to respond to a serious foreign animal disease outbreak or an act of bioterrorism against livestock, a majority of producers (48.2%) said adequately prepared, while 39.5% said inadequately prepared, and 12.3% said not prepared at all.
Veterinarians responding to the same question were slightly less optimistic, with only 39.8% saying veterinarians were adequately prepared, while 53% said inadequately prepared, and 7.2% said not prepared at all.