BRD costs the U.S. beef producers up to $2 billion in losses annually (University of Arkansas, 2003). Two obstacles in meeting the challenge of providing solutions to BRD control are the declining interest in food animal medicine and the acceptance of new technology in the food chain.

“As labor availability continues to decline in beef operations, products that last longer, do not require a booster, or re-handling, and can be administered through a simple but durable and reliable delivery device, will be highly desired,” says Ann Wilkinson, BVSc, MBA, Pfizer Animal Health. “Even more desirable with respect to labor management and beef quality, will be efficacious and safe vaccines that can be administered through the feed.”

Technology will continue to evolve at a rapid rate and it will be a challenge for both the consumer and the regulatory authorities to stay ahead of the changes. “Consumers along the food chain continuum may reject one technology to improve productivity while demanding a second that could lead to improved food safety,” Wilkinson says. “If the food chain does not quickly absorb the costs of implementation, the average producer, already working with slim margins and a volatile market place, will continue to get squeezed. Ultimately the cost of production needs to be affordable to the consumer and profitable to the producer.”