A form of virus causing a flu-like illness or pneumonia recently killed 15 of the 75 cows from the Brassard et frères dairy farm in Saguenay.
They had all contracted the same virus according to what the owners of the Brassard et frères farm, located on Rang Ste-Famille, entrusted to TVA Nouvelles.
“These are types of flu or pneumonia that are more severe than the viruses that we usually see,” said regional president of the Union of milk producers and owner of Ferme du Fjord, Daniel Gobeil.
Mr. Gobeil did not take a chance last fall when he learned that a particularly virulent virus was running on certain farms in the Saguenay. He had his cows vaccinated earlier than usual as a precautionary measure, yet the virus affected his herd.
“I had a few cases of fever and some animals had to be treated,” explains the man who admits having also lost an animal.
It is the first time in more than forty years of operation that the owners of the Brassard et Frères farm have lost so many animals infected with the same virus. Some cows are still in treatment.
They estimate their losses at more than $ 20,000, including veterinary costs, the cost of antibiotics and that associated with the purchase of new cows.
The owners believe that the virus comes from a calf that they bought from another producer.
Daniel Gobeil reminds that each producer must respect very high biosecurity standards.
“Before returning animals to herds from other farms, it is important to ensure that you have a health profile. Requiring animal health tests is not a luxury in 2020 to ensure that we have a quality animal that is capable of producing, ”he said.
He also wants to reassure the population. “People who consume beef or dairy products have nothing to worry about. They can’t get this virus. For dairy products, pasteurization solves all the problems, ”said Mr. Gobeil.