Ark Veterinary Centre

Update on BVD Eradication

Dec 5, 2019

BVD causes a complex of diseases in cattle, the most important of which can interfere with reproduction, affect the unborn calf and lead to mucosal disease.

BVD virus can also cause enteritis during acute or transient infection which is usually mild but occasionally severe enough to cause death, even in adult cattle. Transient BVD virus infection is associated with significant suppression of disease resistance and can contribute to outbreaks of pneumonia or scours in calves, and other diseases.
The disease is mainly spread by persistently infected, or PI, cattle. These are born with the disease, having come into contact with the virus in the womb during the first 120 days of gestation. They will have BVD all their lives and they shed virus extensively, infecting naive cattle directly and indirectly. Most die as calves but a few live much longer. Identifying and removing them from the national herd is critical to any eradication attempt.

As of 1st December 2019 Scotland has entered phase 5 of the BVD eradication scheme. This means  If a PI animal is kept on the holding, the keeper will not be allowed to bring any animals onto that holding. This does not apply if the animal is slaughtered or is due to be re-tested.   Herds classed as “not negative” for 15 months will have to undergo a compulsory investigation, to get a status for each untested animal in the herd.   If a calf is tissue tagged under 20 days old, the tag must be one of the calf’s official UK number tags.   Re-testing of BVD positive animals can only be done by a vet.  For herds with a negative status the new rules should cause no difficulty, however please give us a phone if you would like any further information.