GFM Network News


Researchers join forces to dig deep into state of Prairie cow herd

The five-year project has researchers collecting hard data on topics 
such as antibiotic use, trace minerals, and Johne’s disease


Cattle in Western Canada tend to be deficient in copper, have a low incidence of Johne’s disease, and cow-calf producers don’t use antibiotics excessively. Those are three of the findings from the cattle health network, a five-year project begun in 2012, and based on the National Animal Health Monitoring System in the U.S. “This year […] Read more

Tips on the proper use of livestock antibiotics

Here are Dr. Craig Dorin’s recommendations for using antimicrobials effectively. Don’t use antimicrobials for diseases that they are not indicated for. For example, abscesses are a common problem, but these are localized infections. If the animal does not have a fever and the infection is not systemic, it doesn’t need an antibiotic. Similarly, don’t use […] Read more


VIDO to develop vaccines against TB and Johne’s

The hunt is on for new vaccines that would protect cattle and bison against bovine TB and Johne’s disease. The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) has developed a number of vaccines since its founding 40 years ago. The University of Saskatchewan-based centre has now been given $2.9 million from Genome Canada […] Read more

T4 bacteriophages immobilized onto 
E. coli biosensor surface.

U of A research could detect Johne’s disease

Currently no reliable test to detect the frequent problem in dairy herds


Johne’s disease is a challenge for the dairy industry. One of the main issues associated with identifying Johne’s is that the calf gets infected at a young age, but symptoms may not show in the animal for years. Johne’s disease is difficult to diagnose and when present, can cause animal mortality, decreased milk production and […] Read more


Keeping an eye on — and collecting physical samples from — a network of herds is giving researchers an unprecedented look into 
Prairie cattle production.

Bovine big brother: Surveillance network gives cattle researchers priceless data

Network will yield insights into improving production and herd health — 
and reassure customers if there’s a sudden disease concern

You can’t pick them out from the road, but 120 herds of cattle across the Prairies are special. They’re participants in a “living laboratory” experiment that is advancing knowledge about the health of the western herd in a host of ways. “We have a mixture of small and large herds, somewhat representative of the number […] Read more