GFM Network News


Sometimes there are no answers to troubling questions

Animal Health with Dr. Ron Clarke

Life is unpredictable. The hinterland between known and unknown is often blurred. Despite our techno-ability to scrutinize things at a molecular level, the ability to provide answers to troubling questions is sometimes beyond reach. Take, for example, the year-long investigation into TB discovered in an Alberta cow shipped to the U.S. for slaughter. The discovery […] Read more

Pastures of any sort as well as annual crops can harbour conditions that lead to fog fever.

Know the signs of fog fever

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Fog fever is not an uncommon condition in adult beef cattle this time of year. It is often sudden in onset and can be a cause of sudden death affecting a significant number of mature cows. It has nothing to do with “fog,” it is linked to nutrition not infection, and body temperature in affected […] Read more


One common vector of transmission for tularemia is a tick.

Tularemia, a potentially serious and life-threatening disease

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Tularemia, sometimes called rabbit fever, is an uncommon but debilitating disease spread from animals to man caused by the bacteria Francicella tularensis. It can be found in a variety of animal hosts, notably lagomorphs (rabbits and hares), aquatic rodents (muskrats, beavers, and water voles), other rodents (water and wood rats and mice), squirrels, and cats. […] Read more

High-risk calves a welfare concern

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) accounts for 65 to 80 per cent of the morbidity (sickness) and 45 to 75 per cent of the mortality (deaths) in feedlots. Dr. Dan Thompson of Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine, speaking at the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine 2018 Beef Cattle Conference on managing high-risk calves, highlighted the […] Read more


Blackleg: A pasture nemesis

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Blackleg is an acute, febrile, highly fatal disease of cattle, sheep and goats caused by Clostridium chauvoei characterized by swellings with pockets of trapped air that produce crepitation (crackling) over affected areas. Although blackleg can affect any muscle in the body, including the heart and diaphragm, heavy muscles of the front and hind limbs are […] Read more

Although the efficacy of blackleg vaccines is occasionally disputed in North America, there are few veterinary practitioners who would be comfortable convincing producers to stop using the vaccine.

A vaccine that saved the cattle industry

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Blackleg, a disease of many ruminants, is universal. It is most commonly seen in sheep, cattle and goats. Outbreaks have been reported in farmed bison and deer. The acute nature of the disease makes successful treatment difficult. Although the efficacy of commonly used blackleg vaccines has been disputed by the occasional academic based on the […] Read more


Gruinard Island off the northwest coast of Scotland.

Fake News: A chance to learn about forbidden places

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The story appeared in the Scottish Sunday Herald, Saturday, March 31, 2018. “A group of Russian oligarchs is bidding to buy Gruinard Island off the northwest coast of Scotland. Gruinard is known as Anthrax Island after being used for testing biological weapons during the Second World War. It is uninhabited today due to fears of […] Read more

Shortages of Vitamin A and E will have an impact on calf survival and breeding season this year.

Livestock industry faces trouble ahead from vitamin shortage

Health: News Roundup from the May 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

My all-time favourite TV show remains the 1990s comedy “Home Improvement,” and my favourite actor: Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (Tim Allen). Since the show aired three decades ago, I have crossed paths with remakes of every character in racehorse barns, in feed alleys, at stock shows across Canada, and in western Canadian branding corrals. I’ve […] Read more


When Canadian attitudes toward the food supply are tracked, 46 per cent are concerned about drug residues in meat.

Public trust is a ticket forward for the food industry

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The economic, social and political environment around agriculture has changed. The public, particularly consumers, have influenced the landscape of food production in ways never before recognized. The closer an industry sector’s shift is toward the supermarket meat counter and grocery shelves, the more advanced is the call toward public reckoning about matters involving the food […] Read more

Adapting grazing plans for your ranch requires consideration of climatic conditions and the yearly variances that can occur.

Good grazing means manage for what you want

Soil and grass health is vital to achieve sustainability in our cattle industry

For many, rangeland represents a tough, unresponsive “thing” that resists use and abuse with unlimited regeneration potential. Good cattlemen know that the actual restoration potential of rangeland and pasture is limited. Preservation and rejuvenation of rangeland must be carefully managed. Soil and grass health is an earmark for the cattle industry and a vital signal […] Read more