(Dec. 7, 2007) LINCOLN, NE Cattle producers gathered last week in Kearney for the annual Nebraska Cattlemen Convention & Trade Show and trichomoniasis in cattle herds was one of the topics most discussed, said Ryan Loseke, veterinarian and Nebraska Cattlemen Animal Health and Nutrition Committee chairman.
Trichomoniasis (trich) is a subtle disease that can sneak into a herd without obvious signs, until pregnancy checking time. This venereal disease can be devastating to reproduction rates, often leading to over 40 percent of cows in a herd being diagnosed open. Trich is a major biosecurity issue that often cannot be prevented because infected bulls can be fence jumpers, Loseke said.
Trich is caused by a one-celled protozoan that lives in the sheath of bulls and reproductive tracts of cows. The bull herd can quickly become infected and transfer the disease throughout the herd. The affected animals are not sick, but the infection kills the developing embryo or fetus within the first four months of gestation. The cow returns to a reproductive cycle but generally does not become pregnant until she clears the infection and becomes fertile again after two or three more heat cycles, resulting in many open or late-bred cows. It can be economically devastating to a herd through the culling of cows and replacement of herd bulls, he said.
Since Nebraska's economy heavily depends on the economic viability of cow-calf producers, Nebraska needs new import regulations to be implemented to prevent the introduction and spread of this devastating disease. Nebraska Cattlemen is currently working with the state veterinarian office and other interested parties to develop import regulations to help control trichomoniasis.
We are asking that all producers become informed about how to protect their herds and to support volunteer and regulatory efforts to prevent any further introduction of this disease, Loseke said.
The Nebraska Cattlemen association serves as the representative for the state's beef cattle industry and represents professional cattle breeders, ranchers and feeders, as well as 48 county and local cattlemen's associations. Its headquarters are in Lincoln and second office in Alliance serves cattlemen in western Nebraska.
This and other Nebraska Cattlemen information is available at www.nebraskacattlemen.org.