What price will we pay? The strong case against wormer regulation

Agridirect.ie argues against the Government’s proposal to make animal medicines subject to veterinary prescription, and discusses the reasonable alternatives set forth by the Independent Licensed Merchants Association (ILMA).

One more thing to worry about?

It will kill scores of jobs in rural Ireland and change the course of Irish farming, but very few in farming circles are talking about the Government’s plan to impose strict new regulations on the sale of animal medicines next year. This lack of interest is surprising since these regulations, if introduced as planned, will have woeful financial consequences for small farmers.   

To be fair to Irish farmers, it’s easy to understand how this issue has escaped their notice. They’ve had a lot to contend with in the political arena over the last few years. Farmers are set to take a hit from the Government’s new Climate Bill, while the plan for an EU/Mercosur Trade Deal that would flood the European market with Brazilian beef is still alive. That said, with only 5 months to go before the new wormer regulations are imposed, we can’t ignore this issue anymore.

Continue reading “What price will we pay? The strong case against wormer regulation”

Clostridial vaccination: have your lambs had their jabs yet?

Lamb Vaccination 001As summer gets underway, Agridirect offers farmers some advice on the prevention of clostridial diseases in sheep, and provides some information about the best vaccines available on the market. 

Here comes the sun!

Well folks, it seems fair to say that summer has arrived, and not before we had need of it. Last weekend saw highs of 21 or 22 degrees in some parts of the country. In northern and western counties, where growth has been abysmal until now, grass is finally on the move. As we move into June, we can almost smell the first cut of grass! Continue reading “Clostridial vaccination: have your lambs had their jabs yet?”

Gastrointestinal worms: how to manage them this summer

Worm treatments for cattleAgridirect offers some advice to farmers on treating gastrointestinal worms this summer.

Peak season on the horizon

As we head towards summer and temperatures begin to rise, farmers will be concerned about the risk of gastrointestinal worms. July is usually considered to be peak season for worms, but with June on the horizon it is not too early to keep an eye out for the first symptoms in your herd. While we generally hold the stomach worm to be an irritant for adult cattle, a bad case can be very dangerous for calves. Weanlings are particularly susceptible to the parasite, which lowers their overall health, and reduces their ability to resist other diseases. Continue reading “Gastrointestinal worms: how to manage them this summer”

Of Mites and Hen: getting to grips with red mite infestation

Red Mite Infestation 001Agridirect offers poultry keepers some advice on the management of red mite infestation.

That’s mitey weather!

Most of us welcomed the slight increase in temperatures this week. Granted, these murky conditions are not ideal, but they are an improvement on the rain, hail and frost we suffered at the start of May. For poultry keepers, though, these first signs of an upswing in temperature bring with them the risk of red mite infestation. May is traditionally the month that sees the most significant surge in red mite numbers, which usually remain high until the cold weather takes effect in the Autumn. Continue reading “Of Mites and Hen: getting to grips with red mite infestation”

The sheep farmer’s scourge – blowfly strike and how to prevent it

Blowfly Strike 001

Agridirect offers some advice on the prevention and treatment of blowfly strike in sheep.

There is an old saying that a wet and windy May fills the barn with corn and hay. If that’s the case, there’s hope for a summer at the end of what has been, so far, a dismal month. Two nights of frost at the beginning of the month, and windswept days of wintry showers, have stunted any growth we hoped to get over the last few days. And the forecast for the next week makes for grim reading. Temperatures in the low to mid teens, and heavy showers, are about all we can expect.

Still, the last few days have seen a rise in temperatures. While early May offered up daytime highs of 9 and 10 degrees, we now face the prospect of warm rain over the coming weeks. For sheep farmers, this amounts to a period of increased risk. There is no doubt that there has been an explosion in insect life on Irish farms as the colder conditions have, finally, started to make way. At times like these, we have to keep an eye out for the blowfly. Most of us will sharpen our shears in June, but it may be no harm to start thinking about the best preventative measures and treatments for maggots. Continue reading “The sheep farmer’s scourge – blowfly strike and how to prevent it”

Mineral deficiency in calves – know the right bolus

Calf weaning 001Agridirect offers some advice on the best mineral boluses for calves at weaning time.

Weaning calves – what’s all the doom and gloom about?

Some calves start to fail the moment they come off mother’s milk. You put them out on pasture and you notice the change almost immediately. Sometimes weight loss comes with the onset of infectious diseases that set the animal back even further. All too often, calves don’t make it past this stage at all.

We’ve all had to deal with the unexpected loss of weanling calves, time and time again.

And although it is hard not to despair of weak weanlings that seem prone to just about every ailment imaginable, we should also recognize that disastrous outcomes have preventable causes. The sudden removal of milk from a calf’s diet places enormous stress on its young body. Unless grass quality is of an extremely high quality, chances are that your weanlings are deficient in some crucial minerals. Insufficient copper in a calf’s diet, for example, is one of the leading causes of ill-thrift in calves on Irish farms. A lack of cobalt, on the other hand, can lead to a loss of appetite and a range of health complications. Continue reading “Mineral deficiency in calves – know the right bolus”

The 4 Best Supplements for Breeding Cows

Breeding Season 001

As breeding season approaches, Agridirect offers farmers some advice on the best vitamin and mineral supplements for breeding cows.

Calving season is over: out of the frying pan…

Well, calving season is – hopefully – at an end for most of us. Perhaps we can risk a breather, but only a short one. Days of peace, quiet and leisure time do not feature in the farmer’s calendar. With this year’s calves up and running on spring grass, our attention turns, inevitably, to the breeding season.

A cow’s gestation period is around 247 days, so that leaves a very small window of time before cows go to the bull. Farmers who had calves in February will put the bull in shortly. Continue reading “The 4 Best Supplements for Breeding Cows”

Digital dermatitis – do you know your treatments?

Digital Dermatitis 001Hello farmers! This week at the Agridirect Animal Medicines Corner, our thoughts turn to digital dermatitis. We ask what it is, how it spreads and how to recognize it. We will also make some suggestions on the best ways to treat it!

What is digital dermatitis?

Digital dermatitis (DD) is a bacterial disease of the hoof first discovered in 1974. Highly infectious and hard to cure, it causes lameness in cattle and is a scourge for dairy farmers in particular. It is always distressing to see an animal in pain, and when DD starts to spread through the herd, farmers often despair of getting rid of it. Continue reading “Digital dermatitis – do you know your treatments?”

Hypothermia in lambs: causes, cures and prevention

HypothermiaInLambs001

This lambing season, Agridirect discusses the causes of hypothermia in lambs, and looks at preventions and cures.

It’s all lambs, lambs, lambs

In parts of the country this week, you won’t pass a mile of road without seeing fields of lambs. Newborns still wobbly on their legs; stronger ones risking their first playful skips; and some older lambs that were born in a shed in the depths of winter, now grazing with the wisdom of maturity.

Although this site is enough to make us pine for warmer days, the weather seems reluctant to acknowledge the arrival of spring. Wind still sweeps in from the Atlantic, bringing with it clouds heavy with rain. Last week, this fell as snow in parts of the country, especially on high ground. Continue reading “Hypothermia in lambs: causes, cures and prevention”

What will wormer regulations mean for Irish farmers?

Wormer Regulation

Argidirect discusses the government’s plans to introduce animal wormer regulations, and asks what it will mean for Irish farmers!

Wormer regulation: what’s the story?

At this stage, it looks inevitable. Come next year, farmers will need a veterinary prescription to buy antiparasitic drugs. The Department of Agriculture has decided not to exempt fluke and worm doses from new EU regulations, which were adopted in 2019 and will come into effect on 28 January 2022. Continue reading “What will wormer regulations mean for Irish farmers?”