Skip navigation - go directly to content.Eat Wild - The Clearinghouse for Information about Pasture-Based Farming

News Bulletins:     Nutrition     Animal Welfare     Environment      Farmers

Shop for Local Grassfed Meat,
Eggs & Dairy
Shop for Books
& Kitchen Tools
Notes & News
Grass-Fed Basics
Fruits & Vegetables
Food Safety
Healthier Animals
Environmental Benefits
Benefits for Farmers
Health Benefits
Meet Jo Robinson
How to Donate
Scientific References







From the News Archives...

The low tech solution to preventing shipping fever? Don't ship them!

Around six months of age, virtually all the calves being raised for the meat market are rounded up and shipped to distant feedlots. About a week after arrival, a high percentage of them come down with "shipping fever," a viral infection that is the biggest killer of beef cattle. The disease costs U.S. and Canadian producers more than $1 billion a year. The cause of the disease is simple. The shipping ordeal stresses the animals, which compromises their immune systems. Then they are thrown in with calves from other ranches, exposing them to a host of new viruses.

To combat shipping fever, the USDA's Agricultural Resource Service (ARS) developed a genetically engineered vaccine, which the ARS then licensed to pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough. Soon, there will be yet one more drug in the feedlot arsenal and yet more revenue for Schering-Plough.

A better way to fight the disease, say producers of pastured products, is to keep the calves home on the range. Calves that stay on pasture live such low-stress lives and are exposed to so few viruses that they rarely get sick.


Return to News Archives

Pasture Perfect
by Jo Robinson

Learn more
or order now



Home | Grassfed Basics | Eatwild Store | Meet Jo | Notes & News| Food | Resources | Site Map | Contact | Support