January 18, 2007
SACRAMENTO, CA – At their recent 90th annual convention, the California Cattlemen’s Association’s (CCA) Livestock Memorial Research Fund (LMRF) approved a contribution of $50,000 to the University of California, Davis to fund the development of a promising foothill abortion vaccine in cattle.
The LMRF has agreed to make an initial $50,000 contribution in 2007 and has set aside an additional $15,000 each year for the following two years to support research and funding at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. This represents the largest funding commitment made by LMRF and reflects the importance of this research to California’s beef cattle industry.
"Foothill abortion is a very important regional disease that affects California. Regional diseases see very little funding and the fact that the California Cattlemen's Association is partnering with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is very important to moving the research forward," said Dean Bennie Osburn of the UC Davis School of Veterinarian Medicine. "We're on the verge of developing a vaccine that we feel will be of great importance in reducing the incidence of this disease and improving the health of our cattle herd."
Foothill abortion, also known as Epizootic Bovine Abortion (EBA), causes an estimated loss of 45,000 to 90,000 calves each year which amounts to a $6.3 million out of pocket expense for cattle producers. Through ongoing UC research, the cause of foothill abortion has recently been linked to a primitive bacterial pathogen transmitted through bites from the Pajaroello tick. Isolation and identification of this microorganism has now opened the door for research into a cutting edge, protein-based vaccination which, if successful, could be made available to immunize heifers and cows in as soon as three years.
"This is a great example of California’s beef cattle industry working through the California Cattlemen’s Association and the LMRF, to take on an issue that directly affects the health of California’s cattle herd and the bottom lines of cattle producers," said Bruce Hafenfeld, President of CCA. "This donation is made on behalf of the many producers who contributed to the fund. We look forward to continued cooperation with Dean Osburn in facilitating the gift to the university and returning the benefits of this research to the industry as soon as they become available."
For more information on foothill abortion, the efforts to speed up the development and testing of the prototype vaccine or to get involved with CCA’s other efforts to improve the industry, please contact the CCA office at (916) 444-0845.
Fact sheet on bovine abortion from Veterinary Medicine Extension
Beef cattle programs and fact sheets
Livestock clinical services at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
*This news release was originally distributed by the California Cattlemen's Association.