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Vaccines are an important part of a herd or flock health plan.

When used correctly as part of a property health plan, vaccines can help prevent common endemic livestock diseases, leading to improved animal health, welfare and productivity. Producers should be aware of the endemic diseases in their region that can be prevented by vaccination and assess the risk based on previous local district and property history.

Endemic diseases of livestock in Australia that vaccines can help prevent include:

Vaccines are used at different times in the production cycle, depending on the disease and the vaccine. Producers should follow the instructions on the vaccine label and seek veterinary advice when required. Vaccines may also be used as part of industry biosecurity programs, to limit the spread of or help eradicate emergency animal diseases.

Important considerations when using vaccines

  • Seek veterinary advice when required.
  • Read the label thoroughly before use and follow all label directions or restrictions, including directions for dose rates, route of administration, safety precautions, personal protective equipment, and disposal of empty containers and unused product.
  • Record the appropriate information and include on the LPA NVD/Waybill if the livestock are sold.
  • Ensure withholding periods (WHPs) and export slaughter intervals (ESIs) are adhered to.
  • Store and handle vaccines appropriately, as indicated on the vaccine label, to ensure effectiveness of the vaccine is maintained.
  • Maintain good hygiene.
  • Use well maintained, sterilised injection equipment appropriate to the vaccine being used and change needles frequently.

Test your knowledge: free MLA eLearning packages

Vaccination for southern cattle –

Access MLA’s free eLearning package here

Vaccination in sheep flocks –

Access MLA’s free eLearning package here