GFM Network News


(Canada Border Services Agency video screengrab)

Canada taking first step toward lifting border restrictions

U.S. border restrictions still in place until at least June 21

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada on Wednesday took a cautious first step toward easing COVID-19 border restrictions, saying it was prepared to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home starting in early July. Canada’s air and land borders have allowed for only essential travel since March of last year, and Canadians coming home […] Read more

There is a long list of measures you must take in order to have a truly closed herd, including no fenceline contact.

Why closed cattle herds are like unicorns

It takes extraordinary measures to truly have a closed herd, and that’s why vaccinations are needed

Reading Time: 2 minutes (Note: This article has been edited and condensed.) A surprising proportion of producers believe they run a closed herd. The 2017 Western Canadian Cow-Calf Survey found that of approximately 25 per cent of respondents who did not vaccinate their cows and heifers against reproductive diseases such as IBR and BVD, over half said their reason was because […] Read more


Research is looking for ways for livestock producers to get the best bang for the vaccine buck.

Calculating the bottom line on not vaccinating cows

Not vaccinating herds comes with a cost — these two calculators put a number on potential losses

Reading Time: 2 minutes (This article has been edited for length. The full version can be found in the BCRC Blog section at beefresearch.ca.) Vaccination is a proven tool for disease prevention, but in Western Canada, one in 10 producers surveyed are not vaccinating their cows for infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVD). As well, […] Read more

The big brown bat is one of several species found in Alberta. Although the incidence of rabies in bats is low in the province, the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association strongly recommends people have their pets vaccinated.

Rabies case in farm cat prompts vaccination warning

Two people were recently bit by a farm cat that likely contracted rabies from a bat

Reading Time: 2 minutes A rabid farm cat that bit its owner and another person has prompted the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association to warn pet owners to vaccinate against rabies. The association said the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian received notification of the positive rabies test on Nov. 13. “This nine-year-old, indoor-outdoor cat was born and lived on a […] Read more


Close up of veterinarian's hand preparing vaccine for cattle on the farm

Vaccines made simple(r) — basics you need to know

Here are some tips to cut through the confusion and help 
you decide on the best protocol for your ranch

Reading Time: 4 minutes We have all been there — it’s the day before preg check, you need to get your vaccine order in, and you just can’t seem to remember what you gave the girls last year. Was it the one in the turquoise box? The white box? It was the yellow box, that’s it! You put a […] Read more

Cows herded in to holding pen

Get as much health information as you can when buying cattle

Beef 911: Producers are doing a good job of caring for their cattle but often 
this information is not passed on to buyers

Reading Time: 4 minutes When purchasing or selling livestock, their health status — preventive shots given, deworming, and other relevant information — can be determined by a few simple questions. But these questions are seldom asked in cattle transactions these days. With cattle being of higher value, and often traversing long distances through different geographic areas, this information is […] Read more


Preconditioning is good for the entire cattle industry

Preconditioning is good for the entire cattle industry

Beef 911: There are a multitude of benefits but producers need to be compensated for the extra work and risk

Reading Time: 4 minutes Older producers may remember a preconditioning program implemented by the provincial Agriculture Department in the 1980s. There were criteria for procedures and shots, while veterinarians certified that procedures such as dehorning and castrating were done properly and correct pre-immunization shots were given properly. Two categories of calves (either pre-immunized or pre-immunized and weaned a specific […] Read more

You can still get good protection by vaccinating very young calves

You can still get good protection by vaccinating very young calves

Beef 911: The label may say it’s not approved for young calves, 
but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work


Reading Time: 4 minutes There has been a lot of trial work over the years regarding vaccinations of our calves and when would be the most ideal time. Immunologists would debate this but as situations on farms changed and herds got larger, trends changed. Producers no longer boostered vaccines at four to six weeks apart as was often recommended. […] Read more


Vaccines can have a major payback, as much as fivefold for the BVD vaccine, says beef economist Kathy Larson.

Spend a little now and make money later

Reduced death loss, fewer open cows, and reduced shedding 
are major benefits from a proper vaccination program

Reading Time: 4 minutes The adage goes, ‘It takes money to make money.’ It is no different in the beef industry. “Low-cost producers do not cut corners on pasture, bulls, and herd health,” said beef economist Kathy Larson of the Western Beef Development Centre. “Spending less on these items often leads to reduced herd productivity and thereby raises your […] Read more

Nose-to-nose contact is a primary means for transmission of 
respiratory diseases between horses.

Biosecurity practices for horses

Horse Health: Infectious organisms are effective ‘hitchhikers’ so 
avoid sharing water buckets and equipment at shows

Reading Time: 3 minutes Biosecurity measures do not need to be complicated or expensive undertakings to be effective. In fact the simplest of practices can make the most difference. Infectious and contagious diseases are not random events, rather the disease requires a chain of events to manifest — like the perfect storm. The viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal pathogens […] Read more