How Much is BVD Costing Your Herd?

GLOBAL - An English Veterinarian has urged farmers to concentrate on factors they can control, such as the hugely costly bovine viral diarrhoea.
calendar icon 10 April 2014
clock icon 2 minute read

Europe's most common viral cattle disease is very hard to spot in cattle, warns Cumbria based Michael Reynolds but, unlike fluctuating feed values, it can be controlled on farm.

“The impact of BVD on a herd is so significant that to leave it unchecked is likely to lead to devastating consequences,” he adds.

“Various studies have attempted to calculate the financial losses associated with BVD. One of the most detailed studies puts these at between €21-135 per cow, or between €2100 and €13500 for a 100-cow herd, depending on how it manifests itself,” Mr Reynolds explains.

Highly virulent strains of BVD will cause even more significant financial losses. The same study also states that losses from disease due to BVD when it occurs simultaneously with other infections (which is very common), are more than €340 per cow in the outbreak herd.

The financial impact of BVD arises due to a number of factors:

1. Production losses
2. Effect on fertility
3. Concurrent (existing) disease made worse
4. Increased replacement rate
5. Reduced market value of stock
6. Veterinary and treatment costs
7. Deaths
8. Increased labour costs and management time

“The level of losses a herd with BVD suffers will vary according to which areas of herd performance are most affected. However, given that throughout Europe, surveillance shows that between 60-90 per cent of herds have been exposed to the virus, it is fair to surmise that the majority of herds are suffering financial losses directly due to BVD,” Mr Reynolds concludes.

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