Characterization of tropical cattle production units: Effect of sanitary management


José Luis Ponce Covarrubias
Ethel C. García y González
Maricela Ruiz-Ortega
Elsa L. Rodríguez-Castañeda
José C. Rodríguez-Castillo


animal production, small scale, socioeconomic study, health, microorganisms.


Objective: To characterize dual-purpose cattle production units (PUs) and to identify the sanitary management that producers use with their herds.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Sixty (60) cattle producers were interviewed; the questions were related to the characteristics of the PU and the sanitary status. Four serum samples from the largest herd were sent to the laboratory to detect diseases.

Results: All the cattle producers surveyed were men between 20 and 50 years old. Of them, 40% have been devoted to the activity for 11 to 25 years. The PUs have on average 25 animals, 45% of producers have between 21 and 30 cows, and the highest percentage of animals are breeds Gyr (35%) and Sardo Negro (30%). Of producers, 65% tend to their sick animals. On the other hand, the laboratory studies showed that three cows were positive for Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV), two cows were positive for type 1 bovine herpes virus (BoHV-1), or Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) and parainfluenza 3 (PI3), and finally all the cows were positive for Leptospira sp. Hardjo.

Study Limitations/Implications: Under the conditions in which the study was conducted, it is costly to send samples to the laboratory. The producer with the largest herd financed the laboratory tests of the cows sampled. This information is useful for local producers with regards to the characteristics in which they produce them.

Findings/Conclusions: Dual-purpose cattle producers in the tropics produce at a small scale; and one of the largest PUs presents problems of abortive diseases.

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