I’d rather be safe than sorry when dealing with IBR, says top Holstein breeder

Being safe rather than sorry is the approach Tipperary dairy farmer Eamonn McLoughney has taken to tackle the problem of IBR in his herd.

McLoughney of the Ballythomas Holstein and Jersey herd who hails from Ardcroney, outside Nenagh, says he was initially naive to the potential damage IBR could cause on his farm.

His family has been farming in Ballythomas for almost 100 years and Eamonn is well known on the IHFA circuit being a National Herd winner for the last seven years and is renowned for selling quality replacement stock both in Ireland and abroad.

Why vaccinate for IBR?

“We started vaccinating for IBR on veterinary advice about eight or nine years ago, because we were concerned that the disease was causing production losses in our herd.

“IBR can have devastating effects when it hits your farm. I just decided that I’d take a be safe rather than be sorry attitude to it.

“In addition, we wanted to be able to offer replacement stock for sale as IBR free,” he said.

How it works?

Eamonn said he initially used Rispoval IBR-Marker live every six months and switched to the Rispoval IBR yearly vaccination programme when he learnt about it three years ago.

“It’s very convenient, as we only have to vaccinate the cows once a year for IBR and it is easier to get routine vaccination programmes completed on a yearly basis.

“Also, it’s one less vaccine dose to pay for so the Rispoval IBR yearly vaccination programme saves money,” he said.

Herd Size

McLoughney is currently milking 100 cows, but has plans to increase numbers to 120 which he believes is the most a farm with one labour unit can manage.

“These days with larger herds and less help around anything that makes it easier to manage herd health and reduces costs has to be welcomed.”

“We know the programme is a success as we can guarantee the replacement heifers we sell to both Irish and international customers as IBR free.

“We know we can rely on the Rispoval IBR-Marker vaccines to protect our herd all year round,” he said.