With the rising cost of beef, chicken, pork, and milk, you may be frustrated but few stop to think about the expenses of vaccinating livestock that eventually finds its way into many kitchens through eggs, milk, cheese, or meats.
Pigs receive a number of vaccinations throughout their lives. From time of birth, vaccinations are given to prevent Leptospirosis (a viral disease that can be spread to humans through foods grown in soil where the virus is transferred by animal urine), Parvovirus (a viral infection that can kill piglets), Erysipelas (a bacterial skin infection), E Coli (a bacteria that is transferred by eating undercooked meat), and Atrophic Rhinitis (a disease that distorts bones). Rabies is often required in any animal that spends time outdoors.
Both dairy cows and cattle are vaccinated against a number of ailments and infections. Many states require all outdoor animals receive the vaccination for rabies. Beyond that requirement, any smart farmer ensures that his or her cows receive vaccinations for IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis), PI3 (Parainfluenza 3), BVD (Bovine Virus Diarrhea), and BRSV (Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus.)
Other vaccinations are given when the cow/bull is old enough. Those vaccines include: Leptospirosis, Trichomonas fetus and Vibriosis (sexually transmitted bovine diseases that can cause infertility in cows), Clostridium (a bacteria that is resistant to heat and causes botulism in food), Hemophilus Somnus (a bacterial infection that attacks the cow/bull’s central nervous system), and Anaplasmosis (also called “tick fever” and is known to cause respiratory distress). The diseases can be deadly to an entire herd, but in rare cases Clostridium can be deadly to humans.
Poultry can be difficult to vaccinate due to their size. Many experts recommend leaving your fowl unvaccinated if you only own a handful of birds. Many states are now requiring all poultry be vaccinated against Bird flu to prevent an outbreak. The vaccine is expensive due to the lack of available vaccine.
Large poultry farms are well advised to get their flocks vaccinated, however, against both bird flu and other diseases.
Vaccinations for poultry include: Marek’s Disease (a virus that causes tumors), Newcastle Disease (a virus that leads to bronchitis), Infectious Bronchitis (a virus that can kill large flocks of chickens), Fowl Pox (can lead to pinkeye and skin problems), Avian Encephalomyelitis (a virus infection that damages the nervous system), and Fowl Cholera (a flu-like disease that can kill large numbers of birds.)
Only Bird flu can be transferred to humans, but the other diseases can wipe out entire flocks in a matter of weeks. This could prove to be costly to both the poultry supplier and the purchaser.