00 stokka gerald

Gerald Stokka
Associate Professor of Livestock Stewardship
North Dakota State University


I believe one answer is: Less tolerance for groups of cattle that are at high risk of developing respiratory disease.

In the last 15 years the beef industry has finally come to grips with the cost of “sick” cattle … Our biggest challenge remains in the marketing system itself, whereby the greatest risk factor contributing to clinical disease, that is commingling of groups of animals together, is not addressed.

The following technologies will be developed to reduce the risk of clinical disease in the next 10 to 20 years.

1. Greater emphasis on overall cow-calf management to reduce the risk of clinical disease at the ranch or farm level, i.e., managing to enhance transfer of maternal immunity.


2. Greater emphasis on marketing groups and programs that highlight health, feed efficiency and quality. In smaller herds, producers may elect to commingle calves prior to delivery to capture a higher value in market place and to minimize risks of commingling.

3. Newer vaccine delivery systems

    High air pressure intradermal vaccine delivery systemOral vaccine deliveryIntranasal delivery or group aerosol deliveryVaccine with a sustained release, resulting in booster doses without reprocessing

4. The development and use of immune modulators given to animals at higher risk of developing respiratory disease

    Utilizing specific immune stimulators to heighten the immune response, especially during times of high stress. For example, pre-shipping, pre-commingling or on arrival at the feedlot.

5. DNA technology moving in the direction of disease resistance to specific pathogens

6. Targeted approach to antimicrobial therapy, with new technologies for identifying and treating cattle

    Our ability to accurately identify cattle that need antimicrobial treatment may only be approximately 50 percent. Technologies such as rumen boluses that transmit medical information on individual animals may improve the sensitivity of this procedure.

7. Vaccine technology utilizing very specific protective epitopes along with immune modulators, eliminating the need for whole cell bacterin, modified-live and killed virus vaccines.  end mark

00 rogers glenn


Glenn M. Rogers DVM, MS, DABVP
Aledo, Texas


Future herd health technologies should target steps to minimize labor inputs, improve production efficiency and address emerging animal welfare concerns.

The ability to deliver health and performance-enhancing technologies with fewer trips through the chute should improve.

Examples include increased emphasis on anti-infective strategies requiring fewer subsequent treatments, vaccines that are of longer duration that prime the immune system and result in immunization (delayed release) with one dose and innovative parasite control strategies.

More novel delivery systems will decrease the need for needles and injection into lean meat tissue.

Increasing emphasis on animal welfare and increased public scrutiny of animal health inputs (especially anti-infectives and growth enhancement products) will move beef producers to change some traditional handling and management practices as well as treatment modalities.

Low-stress stockmanship, combined with reduced product input events, will increasingly occur to satisfy labor shortage issues, improve efficiency and address perceived welfare concerns of the consuming public.

Preventive health strategies, such as preconditioning, will be evaluated both from the standpoint of improving health and improving animal welfare.  end mark

00 scholz doug pc


Doug Scholz DVM
Director of Veterinary Services
Novartis Animal Health


I think beef producers can expect a continuation of what we’ve seen over the last 10 to 15 years. In some ways, vaccines have really revolutionized animal health over that period.

Many of the vaccines available today have moved us away from a treatment scenario – where we were primarily treating animals with disease – to a prevention scenario, where we’ve been effectively reducing the incidence of disease in the first place.

A good example of this trend toward better technology is the type of vaccines developed with recombinant technology. As one of the newest and most sophisticated vaccine types, recombinant products combine safety, purity, potency and efficacy.

We’re providing producers with more technologically advanced protection against Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica, the leading cause of bovine respiratory disease in calves.

At the same time, we’ve been able to provide inactivated viral vaccines that are not only highly effective but offer significant safety advantages over modified-live vaccines.

Going forward, we can also expect to see improved diagnostics tools. This will enable us to better identify cattle diseases and ailments – as well as what’s causing those diseases.

There’s no question that will lead to more effective health programs.  end mark

00 nosky bruce


Bruce Nosky DVM
Director Merial Large Animal Veterinary Services


There have been recent developments in the length of time some of the newer drugs work once injected into an animal (long-acting or extended-duration drugs).

Years ago, many of the antibiotics and other injectable pharmaceuticals would last from a few hours to maybe a day or two. Those drugs required multiple injections if you were going to treat over a period of a few days.

If an animal was going to receive the proper regimen of the prescribed drug, it meant multiple injections or treatments, which required once-a-day or twice-a-day handling. That resulted in increased stress on the calf and increased labor costs.

In recent years, we have seen antibiotics developed for cattle that not only start to work within an hour after injection but also remain above effective levels in the system for several days.

The science and formulation of drugs, drug carriers and release technology continues to evolve.

In the near future, cattle producers will be provided with extended-release products that are even more convenient and effective than what is available today.

The benefits will be remarkable in improved performance, improved health, decreased labor, increased profits and, increasingly important, overall improved cattle welfare.  end mark