A group of 100 farm vets and staff from Merial Animal Health have walked over more than twice the length of the Great Wall of China.
In total, the participants have clocked up 26,000 miles.
They group are currently raising funds for charity Volunteers in Irish Veterinary Assistance (VIVA), as part of Merial’s #CALFMATTERS calf pneumonia vaccination awareness campaign.
Viva aims Irish agricultural and veterinary sectors to assist livestock aid programmes in the developing world.
An objective to way over 70,500 miles and raise €5,000 for VIVA, has been set.
So far, they have achieved one fifth of their initial target.
Sp far, iconic distances including the Appalachian Trail, Lands End to John O’Groats, and ‘virtually’ crossed entire countries including Australia, China and Japan.
To record their daily steps, which officiates as a contribution to team progress.
Merial has provided them with Fitbit fitness trackers to record their daily steps, which count towards the virtual teams’ total progress.
The goal is 141 million steps in 20 weeks.
One of the highest steppers hailing from Kelly’s Veterinary Clinic, Rachel Burgess, along with counterparts, says that the #CALFMATTERS campaign and the steps challenge has given them the opportunity to raise awareness of calf health and antimicrobial use with farmers.
Rachel says: “Calf vaccination is something I've been trying to encourage for the past year. There were several larger producers I worked with who had dreadful morbidity and mortality rates due to pneumonia (and scours), and I was constantly trying to stress the value of prevention over treatment.
These clients soon got to see the value of vaccination with improved health and thrive of replacements. There is always scope for more education, and I definitely feel more motivated now to drive an increased uptake of calf vaccination with my farmers.”
You can donate to VIVA at the #CALFMATTERS Just Giving page.