Merial introduces SureHealth™, the first nationwide, veterinarian-certified, calf health management program.
SureHealth is designed to help producers capture the added value from the animal health practices and dollars they invest in their calves, Merial says.
Meanwhile, purchasers of those calves are assured that calves have received the proper parasite control, immunizations and preconditioning steps.
Designed to be compatible with all state and regional alliance preconditioning programs, the SureHealth program will be available from participating veterinarians. The calves can be marketed through traditional livestock markets, order buyers and in private sales of breeding and commercial livestock.
The program will also be available through AgSpan, the Internet-based cattle market that connects feeder calf buyers and sellers and offers a similar veterinary health assurance service.
SureHealth protocols detail 10 best management practices for preconditioned and backgrounded beef calves. Programs for replacement heifers, cows and bulls will follow.
The calf program calls for a 45-day minimum preconditioning period as well as treatments for internal and external parasites, and immunizations for respiratory and clostridial diseases. Calves must also be dehorned, castrated, bunk broke and able to drink from a trough.
Under the program, the producer accomplishes the health requirements while a participating veterinarian documents them. Merial then issues a certificate to the producer who can use it to certify to buyers that the procedures were followed.
The health protocol for calves requires treatment of internal and external parasites with Ivomec products to improve the calves' immune response to vaccination, says Merial's Jay Brown, DVM. The vaccine protocol requires the use of Merial vaccines for IBR, BVD, PI3 and BRSV.
Also required are a pasteurella leukotoxoid and 7-way clostridial. H. somnus vaccination is optional.
Brown says the source and process verification afforded by the SureHealth program is important to not only buyers and sellers but the entire industry.
“With SureHealth calves, we'll be able to trace ranch of origin, genetic base and feeding background, as well as the type and serial number, lot number and expiration date of the products used on that calf,” he says.
Besides promotion through the AgSpan network, SureHealth calves will be promoted by Merial's network of salespeople, Brown says. “We'll promote the demand for these calves in feedlots. We'll have a lot of our cow/calf reps talking directly to our feedlot reps to locate those cattle.”
Contact: Merial Ltd., 2100 Ronson Road, Iselin, NJ 08830-3077, 732/729-5012.Grasshopper Control
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Contact: Knight Manufacturing, 1501 W. 7th Street, Brodhead, WI 53520-0167, 608/897-2131.