The autumn period marks an important few months in terms of animal health.

Autumn and spring are the two periods of the year where issues can occur on farms that will lead to increased incidences of animal disease and sometimes mortality.

Both of these periods also coincide with a lot of animal movement on farms, with calves predominantly being moved in spring and weanlings in the autumn.

Thousands of weanlings will change hands in the coming months.

Everybody can make mistakes and get caught out

Stress is the main driver of disease, particularly pneumonia in weanlings, one of the biggest killers on farms over the next few months.

Minimising stress, especially with purchased animals, is very important. Having a plan in place to prevent and control disease on any farm is also very important.

Everybody can make mistakes and get caught out once, but it’s what you learn from those mistakes and how you change things that will determine a successful animal health strategy.

We take a look at mastitis prevention and control on dairy farms and also discuss bluetongue disease across Europe – whether prevention and control strategies are working and what the implications are for livestock exports and imports around Europe ahead of a busy autumn trading period.

Manus Connolly goes through a step-by-tep process on taking faecal samples for the BEEP-S scheme. Farmers should be aware that the deadline for submitting faecal samples to an approved laboratory has been brought back by one month this year to 1 October.

Make sure you order your sample kits in time and get the samples sent away well in advance of the deadline. The sampling is worth €500 for a 50 cow herd and may alert an issue regarding dosing on a farm.