SCOTLAND – Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) herd screening is an annual requirement and herds without a test in the last twelve months will face restrictions in June.
Farmers are therefore advised to contact their veterinarian, says NFU Scotland, which fears BVD has fallen down the list of priorities ahead of Scotland’s next phase of its BVD scheme.
Around 1,300 holdings have been reminded to “get prepared and prioritise testing” before new measures, as part of phase four, enhance testing requirements for “not negative herds”.
These farms, and farms with no valid annual status, will see restrictions, unless they save a “lot of hassle” and have animals tested now, according to NFUS vice president, Rob Livesey.
New measures this year will also remove a testing option for these herds, leaving two methods and add the burden of testing animals moving in the herd from untested herds.
Mr Livesey labelled farms as “unacceptable” which had let their BVD status slip.
“Cattle keepers must keep their status up to date,” said Mr Livesey. “Some believe that having had a clear test in the past is enough – but it isn’t. You must screen your herd annually to maintain you status. It’s far easier to get this essential job done now before cattle go to the grass.
“If you do not have a BVD negative status, animals will need to be individually tested in order to be moved, other than direct to slaughter.
“If you delay testing, you may also be restricted in your testing options and be required to sample all calves. If this is the case, you should consider the need to switch to tissue tag testing your calves and making sure that you have appropriate tags ordered.
“As we move to the next phase, it is worth reminding all cattle keepers to work with their vets and keep their testing status up-to-date. Allowing annual checks to slip further than 13 months will also trigger movement restrictions until testing is carried out.
“NFU Scotland urges any herd that does not have a negative status recorded on the BVD database to contact their vet and discuss the options available to avoid phase 4 restrictions.”
TheCattleSite News Desk