Vetinerary Corner: Protecting Your Farm From Covid 19

Covid 19 blog
Back after a Covid 19 hiatus

We have not had a chance to post in a while due to these are strange times. We have come under increased pressure due to covid 19 restrictions but here at Agridirect we are still doing our best to serve the farming community. Unfortunately, we are experiencing some delays in certain products arriving to us and some delays with our couriers getting products to customers. However, we have all hands-on deck to try and get as many orders out as quickly as possible which is why this post is a few weeks later than planned.

In this post our vet Sarah Ryan shares some tips on how to protect your farm from Covid 19.

Coping with Covid 19

A lot has changed since I last wrote. As the farmers must keep farming and the vets keep vetting, I thought I would go a bit off topic this time and give a few tips and ways to make life a bit easier and safer for yourself and your vet.

As I have 2 young children at home, I have been quite worried about bringing the virus home to them, so hygiene measures have been in the front of my mind for the last few weeks. It’s not just bringing it home that worries me. During this busy time of year we could be travelling to 20 or 30 different farms per day. Some of our clients are over the age of 70 and should be cocooning in their house, not in a stuffy shed helping me with a cow caesarean. I know the virus could never come at a good time for anyone but it literally could not come at a worse time for both farmers and vets. It’s a stressful time for everyone, and everyone is finding it difficult…I have been out to farms after a long night on call and believe me there is more than one irritable cow on the farm when I arrive.

Protect your farm and your Vet

Following HSE guidelines vets have been deemed as essential workers, which of course makes sense as animal welfare plays a huge role in our job and would never want to leave any animal in need of attention. Let alone the reaction I would get from the farmer if I told them I wasn’t going to pull their lambs!!

Over the last few weeks we have been learning as we go and have come up with a few ways to make things safer for everyone. This isn’t a list of demands but just a few ideas that might help prevent the spread of the virus in the farming community.

How to keep your farm safe from Covid 19
  1. If you are going to your vet for animal remedies, try and ring ahead in advance so they can have it ready for you and you will spend less time in the office/shop.
  1. Have hand washing facilities available for the vet if they are coming on a call out, I know that might seem simple but we call to a lot of place where we end up washing in a trough(and once I was pointed to a puddle!!)

3. Have disinfectant footbath at the farm entrance for or where the vet will be getting in and out of the car. For those who can remember this was a huge thing during the foot and mouth crisis but unfortunately does not seem to be followed as closely on this occasion!

4. A lot of farmers are de-horning calves at the moment, so if you have a dehorning crate and you call the vet to look at a sick calf if you have the calf in the crate on their arrival it will save you getting to close to one another when they are examining it

5. If you have someone out to deal with a sheep, its good to have them haltered and tied so the vet can examine it without you having to hold it.

6.Have larger cattle ready to be examined in the crush and make sure you try and stay 2 metres back.

7. The Department of agriculture have also informed us that for the moment TB will continue but you do not need to test calves under 120 days, unless a reactor retest or export. This will remain in place until review on 2nd of May 202

8. People over 70 should not be present during TB tests.

9. Only essential personnel should be present at the tests, no children should be present during the TB test

10.Where a herd cannot be tested because of Covid there will be a grace period of 28 days from the date on which the test becomes overdue.

Changed times

Things have changed and who knows how long this is going to last but one good thing I can see is the amazing community we have in rural Ireland.

Our local pub owner has made homemade masks for us to give out to our farmers and to use ourselves! If that’s not community I don’t know what is. We are all in this together and all must do our bit to reduce the burden on our hospitals and staff. So, take care everyone. And remember a cow is 6ft…. STAY A COW AWAY!!!!!

I hope this helps and Stay safe during these troubled times.






Author: is based in Ballyconnell Co Cavan.The company was established in 1991 and is a family run business serving the Agri needs and requirements in the west Cavan area.Agridirect aim is to provide our offering of Agri products at a competitive price anywhere in the country- giving you the convenience of buying from your home.

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