As the spring calving season gets underway the Australian Cattle Veterinarians Association is urging producers to use the National Cattle Pregnancy Diagnosis Scheme to prevent losses through inaccurate ultrasound testing.
ACV executive officer Anne Cover said inaccurate pregnancy testing costs producers dearly.
On some farms as many as 30 percent of ultrasound tested animals determined to not be pregnant were later shown to have been pregnant.
Ultrasound pregnancy testing, which had become very popular in recent years, had limitations that some producers were not aware of.
These limitations included the need for ‘empty’ animals to be manually checked to ensure that a pregnancy was not missed.
Ultrasound pregnancy testing also had limitations in its ability to stage pregnancies accurately once gestation was over four months.
As calving season approaches, she said vets from Australia’s peak veterinary organisation were keen to highlight the advantages of the nationally registered and audited National Cattle Pregnancy Diagnosis (NCPD) scheme
The ACV, which administers the scheme, says it is designed to provide farmers with farmers with peace of mind, accountability for the work undertaken, and prevents losses through inaccurate ultrasound testing.
Accredited veterinarians are able to address limitations in ultrasround testing through accurate manual checking of non-confirmed pregnancies.
The ACV describes the scheme as Australia’s gold standard for cattle pregnancy testing, and the only nationally recognised and audited tail tagging system for the identification and certification of cattle pregnancy status.
Under the NCPD scheme, only accredited vets are able to apply the colour coded NCPD tags, so when producers buy or sell a cow or heifer with a tag, they know they have been tested by an expert.
Genuine ACV NCPD tags contain the “Cattle Vets” logo.
The most popular tags are Red/yellow tags denoting over four months, Blue/red tags denoting under four months and green/white not detectably pregnant.
The huge advantage of using a qualified vet for this work is that they are more likely to pick up any other reproductive issues on the farm and provide solutions for the producer. It is really a dollars and cents issue for farmers. The NCPD scheme gives certainty to buyers and prevents incorrect assessment of cattle that can have a serious economic impact for farmers.