Japanese Chickens Stop Scours In Kiwi Calves

JAPAN - Antibodies made by Japanese chickens are helping New Zealand calves fight potentially fatal scours.
calendar icon 29 August 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Te Awamutu company Independent Veterinary Supplies has gained a world first New Zealand Food Safety Authority animal remedy registration for its Rotagen Combo product.

The product is made from a combination of antibodies produced in the eggs of Japanese hens vaccinated with antigens for common calf scours viruses including rotavirus, crypto.sporidia, E coli K99 and sal.mon.ella.

Used as either a milk drink or warm water drench it provides a preventive and treatment for common viruses that cause neonatal scours - a common cause of calf death and poor development.

Independent Veterinary Supplies general manager Lindsay Chitty said the product had been had been in use for nine years, but the registration came after extensive treatment regimes had been developed through field use.

It meant the product, sold under the Vetpack label, was available off the shelf rather than on prescription.

"This is the first time it's been registered as an animal remedy anywhere in the world," he said.

The company sold about 20,000 treatments - ranging from $9-$15 depending on the antibody combination - but expects to double sales next year. Unlike some traditional treatments, it has no withholding period.

Dr Chitty said calf scour rates did not appear any worse this year than previously, but farmers were heading into a critical time for the virus.

"Right at the moment there is a bit around," he said.

"Problems tend to occur about halfway through calving when farmers start to run out of stored colostrum."

Source: Stuff
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