GFM Network News


Cattle need nearly three times as much oxygen as a similar-sized horse just to stay awake and lie around.

Everything old is new again – treating chronic mycoplasma

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Cattle were ideally created (or evolved) to consume and digest high fibre diets. Whoever (or whatever) was responsible for designing the rumen so elegantly probably should have paid more attention to the respiratory tract. The design of the bovine respiratory tract makes it easy for BRD bacteria such as Mannheimia, Pasteurella, Histophilus and Mycoplasma to […] Read more

Foot-and-mouth disease is regularly found in many parts of the world and threatens Canada’s livestock industry.

Much to learn about foot-and-mouth disease: Part 2

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, acute, viral disease affecting cloven-hooved animals including pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. Controlling FMD in countries previously free of the disease and wishing to re-establish freedom is a sophisticated process requiring technical expertise, persistence and tough decisions. The disease is characterized by formation of vesicles and erosions inside […] Read more


The project is being funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

University of Calgary expands diagnostic services for livestock industry

Animal Health: News Roundup from the September 28 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary medicine is piloting an expansion of its diagnostic service unit for enhanced animal disease diagnosis and welfare. Since the provincial government ended comprehensive veterinary diagnostic services for livestock in 1995, private practitioners have picked up those services. That model has worked for companion animals and, to some extent, […] Read more

Vaccines are an important part of a preventative herd health program, but they aren’t a silver bullet.

An(other) ounce of prevention

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

My first fire drill in Grade 1 was absolute chaos, screaming and panic as we all circled the teacher, who was likely wondering how our parents had managed to keep us alive this long. By Grade 3, we yawned and strolled to the nearest door. Fire drills teach kids what to do when there’s no […] Read more


Liners sit empty on a spring morning at Red Deer, Alta. Cattle are more  susceptible to bovine respiratory disease after transport and when commingling, but research shows probiotics may help reduce disease prevalence.

Linking probiotics and respiratory health

Studies on the bovine microbiota show the possibility of using probiotics to help prevent bovine respiratory disease

Ongoing studies are leading scientists closer to the development of an alternative to help prevent and treat the beef industry’s costliest disease. Researchers at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research centre in Lethbridge, Alta., are developing a probiotic to help reduce the incidence of bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Though several studies are still needed […] Read more

In February, veterinarians and industry staff travelled to Uganda to learn more about FMD and how to identify and contain it. Uganda has struggled with FMD for decades.

Preparing for a foot-and-mouth outbreak

Outbreak planning resources, training opportunities and the establishment of a Canadian vaccine bank all in the works to help the cattle industry prevent or respond to the disease

It’s a nightmare no livestock producer wants to experience; watching as your entire herd is put down. The devastation is written across the hardened faces of the farmers featured in a National Film Board of Canada documentary on the 1952 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in southern Saskatchewan. The emotional toll of your cattle becoming infected […] Read more


Montreal’s veterinary college to study eastward expansion

Province backs feasibility study for Rimouski-based program

With a eye on expanding livestock veterinary services in the Lower St-Lawrence and Gaspesie, the Quebec government is backing a feasibility study to bring veterinary studies to the region. The province on Thursday announced assistance of $627,946 for 2019-20 for a feasibility study making a business case to offer the Universite de Montreal’s veterinary medicine […] Read more

The Canadian Beef Advisors have released their first set of goals designed to push the industry forward.

Texas A&M researchers developing first oral anthrax vaccine for livestock, wildlife

The College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences team is working toward a vaccine that would be easier to deliver

There may soon be a new weapon in the centuries-old battle against anthrax in wildlife thanks to groundbreaking work at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS). Anthrax, a disease caused by a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis, contaminates surface soil and grasses, where it may be ingested or inhaled by […] Read more


The spread of the organism can occur when cattle bunch tightly together, such as during high heat and humidity and when fly pressure is present.

Pinkeye in cattle can be costly

Producers should take a holistic approach that begins with preventing its spread

Pinkeye, or keratoconjunctivitis, is an infectious disease of cattle that costs producers money in several ways. “These include increased labour, cost of antibiotics, decreased weaning weights and decreased price paid at market for animals with scarred eyes,” says Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist. One study shows that calves affected with pinkeye […] Read more

A case of acute BVD in a calf. BVD can cause symptoms ranging from nasal discharge to birth defects, as well as diarrhea.  Photo: Supplied by Dr. John Campbell

BVD still a threat to Canadian cattle herds

Even closed herds can be at risk for BVD, making vaccination key to preventing this disease

Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) can affect cattle in many ways, causing abortion, birth defects, stillborn calves, immune deficiencies in persistently infected animals, and other acute or chronic illness. BVD is also an indirect cause of many other diseases because it has adverse effects on the immune system. An estimate a few years ago suggested that […] Read more