The beginning of the rainy season also means farmers should expect an increase in several animal diseases.
The latest monthly report of the Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa’s (RuVasa), compiled by dr. Faffa Malan, indicates that as soon as rainfall increases, problems with parasites will follow suit.
Farmers are recommended to use a 5-point monitoring system to investigate the prevalence of internal parasites in their animals.
Internal parasites that were reported during September include roundworm, wireworm and tapeworm .
Diseases associated with ticks, including Africa and Asiatic redwater, heartwater and anaplasmosis were also widely reported. Malan especially warns against Asiatic redwater.
He added that the early onset of rainfall could lead to an increase in insect numbers in certain areas, causing an increase in diseases such as lumpy skin disease, three-day stiff-sickness (Bovine ephemeral fever), bluetongue, and Rift Valley fever.
One of the largest threats to herd sustainability are sexually transmitted diseases in animals. The monthly increase in the number of trichomoniasis cases are also an indication that the disease is currently too common.
Malan advices farmers to only buy bulls from farms that have strict biosecurity measures in place and where the animals are regularly tested for trichomoniasis, vibriosis and brucellosis.
Cases of viral diseases like rabies, malignant catarrhal fever and orf disease were also reported in several provinces.
There is no treatment for these viral diseases and the only preventative measure is vaccination.
The vaccine for malignant catarrhal fever is still in an experimental phase. It will hopefully be registered within the next two years for public use.
Malan advices farmers to consult with their local veterinary about vaccination programmes and biosecurity measures to protect their livestock.