Change to recording of BVD instances in screened cattle
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. scoteid.com/ lookup.