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New Project Unites Organisations to Tackle BVD

15 April 2016

UK - More than 50 organisations and companies from across the agricultural industry are backing a campaign which aims to eliminate a highly contagious disease of cattle from England.

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) is one of the most important diseases of cattle in terms of economic cost and welfare, causing abortion, infertility, immunosuppression, failure to thrive and occasionally death.

An industry-led project, coordinated by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), has been developed to raise the profile of the disease in response to the appetite that farmers have for a scheme across England to recognise their efforts in tackling BVD and also to build on the success of many regional BVD projects.

Organisations that support the scheme have signed the BVDFree statement of intent - they include vets, laboratories and other industry stakeholders.

Farmers that join the BVDFree scheme will sign up to the four point BVDFree charter to eliminate the disease from their herd.

BVDFree charter:

  • To actively engage in BVD control in order to eliminate the disease from their herd.
  • To report all BVD testing results from their herd to the national database.
  • To allow herd status and/or individual animal status to be openly accessible through the BVDFree database.
  • Not to move Persistently Infected (PI) animals other than directly to slaughter (or through a dedicated red slaughter market).

Livestock farmer Bill Mellor said: “Having experienced BVD within my own herd and the subsequent problems it brings, I am very pleased the industry is leading the way in tackling this challenging disease.

“Eliminating BVD will not only improve health, welfare and production efficiency but contribute to our aim of reducing the need to use antimicrobials.

“I would urge all beef and dairy farmers to sign up to the BVDFree scheme when it rolls out later this year.”

Government has also recognised the importance of tackling BVD in England and is hoping to work alongside industry using RDPE funds. Further details will be available later in the year.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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