Recovery from infection involves a number of complex interactions between specific cells of the immune system. Many of these interactions are mediated by cytokines, which can activate these cells to kill or reduce the replication rate of the pathogen. Availability of large quantities of recombinant cytokines has provided the opportunity to investigate the mechanism or mechanisms of action of each cytokine in vitro and in vivo. In the present review, we describe the application of interferons to reduce morbidity and mortality of cattle suffering from bovine respiratory disease and mastitis. The potential application of interferons in disease modulation as well as the impediments to their use are discussed.