Bangs Vaccine For Cattle

Brucellosis is a contagious, infectious, and communicable disease, primarily affecting cattle, bison, and swine, and is caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. Brucella abortus (B. abortus) primarily affects bovine species; however, goats, sheep, and horses are also susceptible. B. suis primarilyaffects porcine species; and a third strain, B. melitensis, primarily affects goats and sheep. A fourth strain, B. ovis, which primarily affects sheep, exists in the United States but it does not cause significant disease problems. Currently, there is no program or initiative to establish a program for the control of B. ovis or B. melitensis

In its principal animal hosts, brucellosis causes loss of young through spontaneous abortion or birth of weak offspring, reduced milk production, and infertility. It can affect both animals and humans. Brucellosis is transmitted from animals by direct contact with infected blood, placentas, fetuses, or uterine secretions, or through the consumption of infected and raw animal products (especially milk and milk products). There is no economically feasible treatment for brucellosis in livestock. 


Bangs vaccination time is a good time for other heifer management practices as well. Rules restrict brucellosis vaccination to heifers between the ages of 4 and 12 months of age. During this time, heifers identified as replacements can also be given their first dose of pre- breeding reproductive vaccine, palpated for reproductive score, pelvic measured, retagged, and have their udders examined. In addition, since brucellosis vaccine must be administered by an accredited veterinarian, it gives the operation a built-in chance to utilize veterinary expertise to help select and prepare replacement heifers.

Bangs vaccination automatically gives heifers a USDA official ID. Vaccinated heifers receive an official tattoo designating the year of vaccination as well as a metal (or possibly RFID) official identification tag. Even though brucellosis vaccination is not required to cross most state lines anymore, official identification is. Bangs vaccination makes state officials’ jobs easier. Brucellosis-vaccinated heifers have their official ID’s recorded and sent to the state veterinarian’s office for storage. Those records and ID’s can become invaluable in investigations of disease outbreaks such as tuberculosis. Having identification such as the Bang’s tag number might mean the difference between an operation being declared “all clear” and having to test their animals when it comes to these disease tracebacks.

Benefits of Bangs Vaccine For Cattle:

  • The vaccine RB51 we use for brucellosis must be administered by an accredited veterinarian. This annual vet visit could serve to go over other vaccination or treatment protocols, renew prescriptions or talk about anything else cattle health related. Remember that your vet needs to document a valid veterinary client patient relationship to be able to write prescriptions and being familiar with the operation and the animals is part of this requirement.
  • Brucellosis vaccination comes with automatic official ID, the orange Bangs tag that is applied at vaccination. Official ID is required for interstate movement under certain conditions. We don’t know what the future of the metal orange tag is with increasing efforts to implement all official ID to be electronic, but the requirement for official ID for brucellosis vaccinated cattle will likely stay.
  • Having official ID helps animal health officials trace animals back to their origin that may be found at slaughter to have a foreign animal disease or a disease that is regulated by USDA or state agencies, such as tuberculosis or brucellosis. Having the capability of tracing the animal back to its origin is the best way of minimizing the spread of the disease to other animals or people, if it is a zoonotic disease.
  • If you plan on selling cattle to a state that still requires Bangs vaccination for entry of breeding female cattle, you need to accomplish vaccination before the heifers are 12 months old. At the moment, California does not allow mature vaccination, which is routine vaccination of females over 12 months of age.
  • If everyone stopped vaccinating, we would end up with a naïve population of cattle and a new introduction of the disease could cause critical damage. However, the risk of introduction of brucellosis through an animal from the Greater Yellowstone Area into California is very small according to a risk analysis model.
  • The California Cattlemen’s Association strongly encourages all California ranchers to vaccinate beef heifers that will be added to the breeding herd to keep them protected from the disease.

 Vaccine Handling and Administration

  1. Keep the vaccine stored properly according to label instructions.
  2. Check the expiration date before using.
  3. Reconstitute the vaccine following the label instructions.
  4. Mix the RB51 vaccine just before using; keep it cool and out of direct sunlight.
  5. Use caution. RB51 may cause clinical brucellosis in humans if accidentally injected, sprayed in the eyes, or allowed prolonged contact with the skin.  If you are exposed, contact a physician as soon as possible.
  6. After reconstitution, the vaccine loses potency rapidly. Do not reconstitute more vaccine than will be used in one hour; if working in warm temperatures, keep the vial on an ice pack to maintain viability.
  7. To avoid contamination and accidental vaccine exposure to other animals, maintain separate syringes and needles for brucellosis.
  8. Administer 2 mL of the vaccine subcutaneously. 

Prices of Bangs Vaccine For Cattle


Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

error: Content is protected !!