GFM Network News


Vet Advice: Pain control in cattle

Vet Advice: Pain control in cattle

It’s that time of year again. Calving for many producers is nearing completion, especially for those trying to dodge the impact of bad weather and the last of winter’s snows. April and May are busy times on the calving grounds. Thoughts shift to processing this year’s calf crop. Branding dates are normally communicated to neighbours […] Read more

Chokecherry.

Vet Advice: Not all that’s green is edible

Plant poisoning is a common problem throughout North America, causing significant losses from sudden death, reproductive failure, poor growth rates, tainting of animal products (milk, meat) and physical damage. Recognizing toxic plants and understanding the effects of toxins on animals is an important aspect of good range management. Plant poisoning can be largely avoided. Plants […] Read more


Core biosecurity principles and accompanying practices linked to livestock production now envelop all aspects of food production, preparation, manufacturing and human health.

Planes of biosecurity

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Simply defined, biosecurity encompasses procedures intended to protect humans and animals from disease or harmful biological agents. Animal biosecurity is a general description for measures designed to protect Canada’s animal resources from foreign and endemic infectious and parasitic disease agents at national, regional and farm levels. Many of the concepts related to biosecurity formally started […] Read more

Few things in life today remain unscathed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saying goodbye to normal

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

“Civilizations have marched blindly toward disaster because humans are wired to believe that tomorrow will be much like today.” — Roy Scranton, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene There’s a word for the new era we live in: the Anthropocene. This term represents the idea that we have entered a new epoch in Earth’s geological […] Read more


Your calving area should be clean, dry and close to shelter.

Getting ready for calving

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

It’s better to look ahead and prepare, than look backwards and regret. — Mark Twain When preparing for the spring season, there are several things to keep in mind. Avoid surprises about the bull battery. Track the start and end of calving season. It should match the start and end of a controlled breeding season. […] Read more

The bacterium Mycoplasma bovis is an economically important pathogen of cattle that contributes to the complex nature of bovine respiratory disease.

Has Mycoplasma bovis jumped the species barrier — again?

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Mycoplasma bovis is an important bacterial pathogen associated with chronic pneumonia and arthritis in feedlot animals, mastitis in dairy herds and middle ear infections in calves. Over the last two decades, Mycoplasma bovis emerged as a cause of troubling respiratory disease and arthritis in feedlot cattle and extended into young dairy and veal calves. A […] Read more


Animals play a role in the emergence and dynamics of infectious disease.

Infectious disease: Transmissibility and herd immunity

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In November 2019, the world changed. A cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China — the cause eventually identified as a novel coronavirus labelled COVID-19 — turned the world on its ear. While a novel coronavirus trammeled the world, humans stood in awe wondering what might happen. COVID-19 sickened 46.2 million people (as of November […] Read more

Poking the beehive

Poking the beehive

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

COVID-19 may never go away — with or without a vaccine. Dr. Vineet Menachery, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Texas medical branch, is guarded in his forecast of how we will adapt to COVID-19. The future has a lot to do with immunity. Menachery points out that we haven’t been successful at eradicating […] 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 3 of 3

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In a crisis, affected people act on information differently than during non-crisis situations. They often exaggerate communication responses as they revert to more basic or instinctive “fight-or-flight” reasoning. Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in previously FMD-free countries always creates crisis circumstances because economies collapse. Plus producers are thrust into disorder of a magnitude that frightens most because […] 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