Change to record­ing of BVD in­stances in screened cat­tle

The Oban Times - - Farming -

Cat­tle herds where an an­i­mal has tested pos­i­tive for bovine vi­ral di­ar­rhoea ( BVD) virus saw their BVD sta­tus change from not-neg­a­tive to pos­i­tive on Mon­day (April 10).

This pos­i­tive sta­tus only ap­plies to hold­ings where there is ev­i­dence of a live per­sis­tently in­fected (PI) an­i­mal in the herd.

Once the PI has been re­moved from the hold­ing, or the an­i­mal has been re-tested, al­low­ing the presence of the virus to be ruled out, the BVD herd sta­tus will re­vert to not-neg­a­tive.

BVD con­trol is cen­tred on the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of PI an­i­mals and the re­moval of these cat­tle from the herd. In­tro­duc­ing a BVD ‘pos­i­tive’ sta­tus makes the erad­i­ca­tion scheme eas­ier to un­der­stand, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment claims, and high­lights herds that pose a higher BVD risk for those pur­chas­ing or mov­ing cat­tle.

Penny John­ston, an­i­mal health and wel­fare pol­icy man­ager for NFU Scot­land, said: ‘ While this doesn’t ac­tu­ally introduce any ad­di­tional con­trols for those herds now des­ig­nated as BVD pos­i­tive, it is an im­por­tant step in recog­nis­ing that any herd which re­tains a live PI sta­tus is known to have BVD so must be con­sid­ered a pos­i­tive herd and can­not hide be­hind a more am­bigu­ous not-neg­a­tive sta­tus.

‘It is a small change but one which we hope will make peo­ple think twice be­fore hold­ing onto a PI an­i­mal. If we are to get on top of BVD in Scot­land, all PI an­i­mals need to be re­moved from herds as soon as pos­si­ble.

‘The BVD ad­vi­sory group, which NFU Scot­land sits on, will be meet­ing later this month to look at what new sanc­tions and con­trols are needed to help tighten up some of the gaps in the cur­rent pro­gramme and help us move that bit closer to a BVD clear na­tional sta­tus.’

The Bovine Vi­ral Di­ar­rhoea (Scot­land) Or­der 2013 has a manda­tory an­nual screen­ing re­quire­ment for breed­ing herds to es­tab­lish whether or not a herd has been ex­posed to BVD. Cat­tle keep­ers can check the BVD sta­tus of their hold­ing on the ScotEID web­site at www. lookup.

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