Vaccinate and educate to manage risks

For Lindiwe Sithole, host of African Farming Season 2, visiting the Eastern Cape in all its splendour is only the beginning of an insightful journey. She gets the opportunity to see the large farming enterprise that Mandla Mandlendoda and his brother, Johnston, runs in the province. 

Dr Thapelo Makae, a veterinarian with Elanco, was just as impressed with the job the two brothers are doing. “We discussed the role of leaders in a community and how they can contribute to the agricultural community by sharing their knowledge.” 

Sithole says the brothers not only look after their own animals but also assist in educating their neighbours about the importance of vaccinations.

“They also help other farmers in their community to vaccinate their animals.” This all forms part of a comprehensive biosecurity plan to stop the spread of diseases.

“There are various risks associated with diseases that can spread from one farm to another. We salute Mandla and Johnston for the extraordinary role they play in their community and for reducing these risks. They are true leaders,” Dr Makae says. 

A herd health management plan is vital to running a profitable livestock farming operation. However,  some producers, unfortunately, do not vaccinate until they incur a loss. Dr Makae says biosecurity starts with the efforts a farmer puts in to prevent the spread of diseases. This includes looking after the animals by implementing a primary animal health programme. 

Vaccination forms an important part of such a programme. “Vaccination is all about preventing the outbreak of seasonal diseases that affect livestock,” says Dr Makae.

Farmers also need to support the health and immunity of their herds with other treatments, including nutritional products and parasiticides, which further aid in disease prevention. 

Supplementing feed with nutritional products can support the health of the herd during winter when the quality of feed tends to deteriorate. Your herd’s treatment programme should include various elements such as vaccinations, parasite control and nutritional supplementation in order to ensure that your animals are in the best possible health.

Elanco™ helpline: 0861 777 735

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