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Break the shackles of vaccination timings with new BVD vaccine Bovela

29 June 2015
Boehringer Ingelheim

UK - Bovela, the new vaccine for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), gives farmers the chance to break the shackles of traditional vaccination timings with its single shot primary course which goes on to provide a full 12 months’ protection.

Developed and marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Bovela is the only UK licensed vaccine which requires a single shot primary course, says Boehringer Ingelheim’s Allan Henderson. “On top of that it also protects against the emerging threat of BVD type 2,” he adds.

Bovela’s real selling point though is its flexibility of use. The fact that it only requires a single shot primary course means its timings can be more flexible than traditional BVD vaccines to protect herd health, he says.

“With most BVD vaccines you have to give animals two primary doses, usually about four weeks apart. This means cattle have to be handled twice, which can be troublesome when cattle are at grass, and particularly so for suckler herds that are handled less frequently when grazing.

“Bovela’s unique, single dose primary course means it can be given as and when cattle are handled, with no need to re-gather them a few weeks later. This will help farmers immensely and allow them to chose the timing of their vaccination programme, rather than being held to ransom by the requirements of existing vaccines,” explains Mr Henderson.

“The first dose of Bovela needs to be given at least three weeks prior to service to ensure protection of the foetus, eliminating the risk of the heifer producing a persistently infected calf (PI). From there on, being able to administer Bovela to pregnant animals in subsequent years, following recommendation by a responsible vet, means that cattle can be vaccinated at the time best suited to other farm workloads.

“Many farmers traditionally administer their BVD vaccine in the spring before turnout. In many cases this means keeping cattle inside longer than farmers would like, as the second of the primary doses has to be administered to ensure protection.

“With Bovela, cattle can be turned out immediately after they’ve been vaccinated, allowing farmers to be more responsive to weather and grazing conditions, and potentially allowing them to save feed and bedding costs at the end of winter. This may also make it a job just as easily carried out during the summer months while cows are at pasture.

“The real benefits though comes in reduced workload and, as a result, lower stress levels for both man and beast,” says Mr Henderson. “Handling cattle can be a stressful and dangerous experience for animals and farmers. The fewer times they have to be handled in large groups the better for them, farmers and farm workers.”

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