Identify Persistently Infected Animals to Control BVD

EU - Successful Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) eradication schemes in mainland Europe, and more recently in the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, mean that increasingly attention is shifting to England and Wales to adopt a proactive approach to the disease.
calendar icon 15 August 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

With the majority of the national herd being affected and the cost to British agriculture estimated at about £40million per year, farmers can no longer afford to ignore the problem. Scottish Government proposals to impose movement restrictions on persistently infected (PI) animals likely to affect all cattle crossing the border after February 2013.

Many farmers already adopt BVD management strategies as part of herd health planning and cattle health schemes, and Fearing, in conjunction with the SAC, has recently launched a ‘Tag and Test’ service that allows farmers to take tissue samples from newborn calves and identify PI animals within just a few days.

“By making it easy to integrate testing with a routine process such as tagging newborn calves, farmers and their vets can collect essential data to help decision-making when tackling the problem of persistently infected animals in their herd,” explains George Caldow, Veterinary Manager with the SAC and BVD expert.

The Geno tags collect a sample of ear tissue in a hermetically sealed, tamper-proof container with a unique identifier to ensure full traceability. The samples are sent by post to the SAC laboratories for analysis and the results are returned within five working days to both the farmer and his vet.

“The prevention, treatment and management of this disease at farm level is complex, but early identification of PI calves has a crucial part to play,” confirms Colin Lindsay of Capontree Vets. “Even when the problem has been successfully tackled, we still need to establish an ongoing monitoring procedure that is simple and cost-effective to farmers.”

The Fearing Geno tag is available as part of a Ministry Approved pair and the cost to farmers is £5.99 including the BVD test. The Geno tag can also be purchased without the test: “This technology supports a huge range of genotyping and diagnostic testing, and because samples can be stored safely without refrigeration, they can be used by vets, breed societies and trade bodies for a variety of purposes,” adds Andrew Cowan, General Manager of Fearing.

Further Reading

Find out more information on BVD by clicking here.

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