GFM Network News


Zoetis buys livestock data management firm

Performance Beef platform to expand drugmaker's 'precision' production offering

The producer of livestock drugs such as Draxxin, Bovatec and Excede is buying space in the “precision livestock farming” market with a deal for a U.S. livestock data management firm. New Jersey-based Zoetis, which makes drugs and vaccines for the beef and dairy cattle, equine, swine, poultry and sheep sectors as well as cats and […] Read more

Elanco buys swine PWD vaccine maker

Veterinary drugmaker Elanco Animal Health is expanding its space in the swine sector with a deal to buy the Quebec startup behind Coliprotec vaccines. Indianapolis-based Elanco announced Thursday it has paid $78.5 million to buy Prevtec Microbia, which is headquartered in Montreal with facilities in St-Hyacinthe. The Coliprotec line is meant to help protect pigs […] Read more


The number of horses infected with West Nile jumps in Alberta

The number of cases nationally more than doubled last year, with more than half in Alberta

West Nile virus is becoming a more serious issue in horses — rates are rising in Alberta and a third of the horses which become infected will die. But there is a way to protect your horses, said veterinarian Melissa Smith of West Wind Veterinary Hospital in Sherwood Park. “There are vaccines available for West […] Read more

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

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

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


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

Top tips for vaccinating

Storage, the injection route, and when you administer a vaccine 
are all key, says 
Dr. Nathan Erickson

Time it right A vaccine needs to match the immune response of the cattle to the vaccine and the period of greatest risk. “So for BVD, the risk period is the first three months of gestation, while IBR, lepto, and vibrio, they tend to be a little bit later in gestation — around four months,” […] Read more


Lorne Babiuk is the first Canadian to be named a World Agriculture Prize Laureate.

U of A researcher first Canadian to win major international award

Lorne Babiuk, vice-president of research at University of Alberta, has helped develop six vaccines and made major contributions to animal health

He’s helped pioneer the development of vaccines used by livestock producers worldwide, and now he’s the first Canadian to be named a World Agriculture Prize Laureate. Lorne Babiuk, world-renowned virologist and vice-president of research at the University of Alberta, was awarded the prestigious prize in recognition of his lifetime achievement. “Vaccines, whether for producers or […] Read more

Nasal spray vaccine more effective against BRD than injection

Vaccines for bovine respiratory disease are more effective when administered via nasal spray than injection, according to a University of Saskatchewan study. Dr. Philip Griebel’s study found vaccines administered at branding (age three to six weeks) and at weaning (age six to seven months) were more effective when given via nasal spray. “Intranasal vaccination at […] Read more


Should you precondition your cattle?

While preconditioning makes sense from a health perspective, it’s far from standard practice. In fact, a western Canadian cow-calf survey found only nine per cent of producers preconditioned in 2013. And those who do typically have a clear financial incentive, said Canfax Research Services manager Brenna Grant. “Frequently, producers consider preconditioning when they have extra […] Read more