Cows, Vaccines & Nonsense - Actual Information from an Actual Rancher

Cows, Vaccines & Nonsense - Actual Information from an Actual Rancher

I have been getting a lot of questions recently about livestock vaccinations from customers that are based on some social media rumors and some podcasts.  I have seen this too and I want to help set the record straight as best I can.   

I have been working in the beef industry for 25 years.  Some of that time has been in commodity (big meat packing) beef and since 2006 in our own pasture based grass fed and grass finished beef company.  I am basing this information on my experience as a rancher. I have spoken with vets from UC Davis and tapped some of my industry contacts to double check what I already knew (or thought I knew) to be sure I am going with real facts in the real world.  

There is no Covid-19 vaccine developed for livestock.  Livestock cannot get Covid-19.  There is no USDA mandate or plan to use the old Covid-19 vaccine on livestock.  We are not now, nor will we be giving Covid-19 vaccinations to our cattle at any time in the foreseeable future.  Livestock will get “CoronaVirus” vaccinations.  In this case “Corona” is a type of virus (kind of like a Border Collie is a type of dog). Some of those types of viruses can cause respiratory disease like pneumonia while others can cause viral scours (industry term for diarrhea). These are common diseases found in cattle and want to keep our cattle healthy.

There are no mRNA vaccines in use in the US for livestock. Regardless of how you feel about mRNA technology as a vaccination platform, mRNA vaccines are not being given to livestock.  There are none under development (that have been made public) or that anybody I have talked to knows about.  Livestock in the US receive “killed virus” (exactly what the name implies) and “modified live” vaccine (viruses that have been weakened and can easily be dealt with by the immune system of the animal). The vaccines we use on livestock are the same type that have existed for generations.

This is just an internet rumor.  Rumors perpetrated by people who either don’t have a clue what they are talking about (at best).  Or (at worst) people who should know better but are using “Scary Word Salad” to promote their book, wellness program, podcast or their Twitter fame.  You can tell your friends you heard it from a rancher (or horse’s mouth, or cow’s mouth – whatever).  These rumors are nonsense.  Please don’t give them any mind.

I hope that helps. - Seth (founder & head cowboy)

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1 comment
  • You communicated in an authoritative manner. I’m inclined to believe you and what you’ve said adds to my motivation to try you guys out. I continue to build my knowledge about beef and the different cuts available before I make the decision on which quarter of the cow I want to try first, front or hind. Blessings to your family.

    Jeff on

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