Considering the pull rate for bovine respiratory disease is typically 15 per cent and can be up to 70 per cent for high-risk calves, you might think there’s a digit missing from the Zoetis 0% BRD pull-rate guarantee for SelectVac Gold Plus calves.
Not so, says Les Byers, manager of veterinary services for beef cattle with Zoetis. The 0% guarantee, new this year, is the first of its kind in Canada. It and the Zoetis 5% BRD pull-rate guarantee, which has been available for four years now, are only offered in Canada. Zoetis will cover up to $20 per calf treated for respiratory disease beyond those thresholds if certain conditions have been met.
The 0% pull-rate guarantee requirements start on the ranch with calves from dams vaccinated with Bovi-Shield Gold FP5 before breeding the previous year to protect the calf from contracting the persistently infected (PI) form of bovine viral diarrhea (BVD). Under Zoetis’s standard quality medicine program, the company will pay market price for any confirmed PI calves from dams properly vaccinated with Bovi-Shield Gold FP5.
The calves from the vaccinated mothers then need to be vaccinated at least two weeks before weaning with a Zoetis modified-live-virus (MLV) 4- or 5-way product, One Shot and a histophilus vaccine to qualify the calves to be registered as SelectVac Gold Plus calves.
SelectVac Gold Plus calves can be registered on the website by providing their RFID numbers and confirming that you’ve followed the on-ranch protocols. This sets them up for eligibility for the 0% pull-rate guarantee whether you retain ownership or sell the calves at weaning.
The final step is the BRD control program on arrival at the feedlot when the calves receive Zoetis MLV 4- or 5-way and histophilus vaccines along with a label dose of Draxxin. Each pen must contain only SelectVac Gold Plus calves and fill within 10 days.
The guarantee is that if any of the SelectVac Gold Plus calves have to be treated for respiratory disease within the 30 days after the pen fills, Zoetis will compensate the producer with free treatment products worth up to $20 per treated calf.
Claims are submitted to Byers through the producer’s veterinarian who verifies that the guarantee protocols and conditions were followed. If the RFID numbers of the treated calves are registered in the SelectVac Gold Plus database, then the claim is legitimate and the replacement medications will be shipped to the veterinary clinic and applied as a credit to the producer’s account.
Registering the calves is important, too, because the guarantee will automatically transfer to a new owner without any additional paperwork required. This is a big plus for producers who sell calves off the cows because the calves can be marketed as registered SelectVac Gold Plus calves already set up to be eligible for the 0% BRD pull-rate guarantee, Byers explains. The steps done on the ranch are a big value-add and worth something to a new owner, but it’s up to you to make the most of it by telling potential buyers about your health program.
The 5% BRD guarantee starts at the feedlot. All calves are eligible regardless of their vaccination history as long as they receive the BRD control program on arrival. Again, the pens must fill with all treated calves within 10 days and the guarantee kicks in for the next 30 days. If more than five per cent of the calves in a pen have to be treated for respiratory disease, the feedlot will be compensated through its veterinarian in free product worth up to $20 per calf treated beyond the five per cent.
The guarantee programs are built on the company’s confidence in Draxxin and Bovi-Shield Gold FP5, Byers says. Most of the research shows that the pull rate for BRD is typically around five per cent for calves treated with Draxxin on arrival at a feedlot.
“We can offer 0% because we know a lot more about the calves, Byers explains. “We know that they come from dams vaccinated against BVD the previous year so we can be sure the calves aren’t BVD carriers, which makes a big difference. We know that they’ve been vaccinated on the ranch and received the BRD control program including a dose of Draxxin on arrival at the feedlot, and that all of the animals in the pen have come up through the program the same way.”
For additional information and to register calves go to www.selectvacgold.ca or give Byers a call at 780-632-7596.