a system developed to shoot pharmaceutical products into
cattle and hogs using an air rifle. It was sold by a
company in Minnesota. In 1990, Upjohn Animal Health was
interested enough to try it out.
advantages were said to be:
1. Treatment can be given earlier
2. Less or no stress on the animal
3. Less or no stress on person treating the animal
4. Significant reduction in time taken to treat animal
5. Greater worker safety and less potential for injury
a polymeric matrix of the antibiotic ceftiofur in the shape of a bullet.
It was termed a "biobullet" and contained 100mg of
ceftiofur. This biobullet was to be fired via an air rifle into cattle to treat
them for pneumonia, footrot and pink eye. The product didnít
get very far in development, mainly because of ethical concerns -
it was too brutal on the cows.
Here are a couple of articles on Ballistivet:
Ranchers Shoot Cattle with
You can vaccinate cattle in one-third the time with
one-third the labor you would normally need," says LP.
Pollreisz, a veterinarian from Canyon, Texas who works
with ranchers testing "Ballistivet", an air rifle that
shoots "biobullets" into cattle from a range of 5 to 50
ft., eliminating the need to work cattle through chutes
for "hands on" vaccination.
The Balistivet system uses a 25 caliber air rifle that
shoots the special 600 to 640 milligram bullets at 850
ft. per second. The shooter aims for major muscle groups
- usually in the neck or in the rear. The bullet makes a
slight puncture wound that generally seals itself.
It's rare that an animal will even bleed. In 10 min.
after entering the muscle the medication has dissolved
out of the biobullet. After 10 hrs. the biobullet has
completely dissolved and in 10 days you can't find a
trace of the bullet," says Pollreisz, noting that the
system requires no mixing of medication so animals
always get accurate doses, and it also eliminates the
danger of cross-contamination.
The gun operates off an 18-cu. ft. compressed air tank
pressurized to 2,200 psi. Cattle can be vaccinated in a
walkway or in the feedlot. Pollreisz says the gun makes
it possible to easily vaccinate 500 to 700 head of
cattle in an hour compared to the three or four hours it
would take several men to do the job with a chute.
So far the Ballistivet system has been used only on beef
cattle. Other medications are currently being capsulized
in biobullet form for use on dairy cattle and hogs.
The gun and air tank sells for around $850. Biobullet
doses sell for 20 to 50% more than conventional
medicine. System is sold only through veterinarians to
ensure proper training by applicators.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup,
Ballistivet Inc. P.O. Box
10812, 4756 Banning Row, White Bear Lake, Minn. 55110.
Los Angeles Times Bio Bullets Article - 1990