Veterinary Clinic

  • aloes in the eastern cape at humansdorp vet.jpg
  • beautiful humansdorp vet sunset at krom river.jpg
  • humansdorp vet cocks comb landscape.jpg
  • owl in natural environment at humansdorp vet .jpg
  • the cocks comb landscape at humansdorp vet.jpg

Business Hours

Monday - Friday 08:00 - 17:00

Saturday 08:00 - 11:30


A veterinarian is on call for emergencies out of the above hours.  His/her cell number will be available on the practice telephone answering machine (042 295 1083) and the practice cellular phone (071 180 3639).

Enzootic Bovine Leukosis [EBL]

Enzootic Bovine Leukosis [EBL]

The Cause

EBL is caused by a virus which is carried in the white blood cells.

The virus causes malignant [kwaadaardige], cancerous growths in the body and suppresses immunity. The cancerous growths interfere with the functions of the organs in which they occur eg. heart, liver, intestines, uterus.

The EBL virus can occur in body fluids such as salvia, urine, semen, but only when these fluids contain blood cells.


The most common means of spread is via needles and instruments.

It can be spread to foetuses in the uterus, but only about 10% of calves born to infected cows are infected at birth.

Transmission of virus to calves in colostrum or milk is rare due to protection provided by antibodies in the colostrum.

Insects may play a role in the spread of the disease.

Financial Implications

  • Lowered production
  • Deaths
  • Susceptibility to other diseases
  • Loss of sales, especially exports


Prevent spread of infection in your herd by following these three precautions:

  1. Use a sterile needle for each animal
    • This sounds impractical, but is in fact done on many large herds.
    • Boil batches of needles.
    • Work as a team. Use two or more syringes.
    • Don’t use disinfectants to sterilize needles [or syringes] when injecting vaccines.
  2. Disinfect instruments such as ear-notchers and dehorning shears between animals
  3. Use a separate glove for each animal when doing rectal examinations


  1. Eradication has been achieved in many countries in Europe as well as in Australia and New Zealand by bleeding the herd every three months and culling positives.
  2. In SA, start with the older cows to establish the extent of the infection in the herd and thereby whether eradication will be feasible.


Do not buy-in bulls or heifers unless they have been tested and found to be negative for EBL.