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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Solving the puzzle of foothill abortion in beef cattle


Foothill abortion, also known as epizootic bovine abortion (EBA), has been a long-standing problem for California beef cattle producers. It is a major source of economic loss for California cow and calf producers, and in the 1990s it was estimated that 5% to 10% (45,000 to 90,000 calves) of the California beef calf crop may be lost each year (Bushnell et al. 1991). UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisors, specialists and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) faculty have worked on this disease for nearly 50 years. This long research process finally moved forward in 2005, when the causative agent was identified.

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