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11 December 2017 | Online since 2003


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7 September 2017 09:31:12 |Animal Health,Cattle,News

Herd screening project launched in Wales to tackle 'widespread' BVD problem


Farmers throughout Wales will be urged to participate in this new voluntary eradication programme

Farmers throughout Wales will be urged to participate in this new voluntary eradication programme

The first herd screening project in Wales has been launched as part of the Welsh government’s multi-million pound bid to eradicate Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).
Farmers throughout Wales will be urged to participate in this new voluntary eradication programme which has been funded through the Welsh Government’s Rural Development Programme.
Called ‘Gwaredu BVD’ (Eradicating BVD), its purpose is to provide the necessary support and guidance to ensure farmers can identify herds infected with BVD.
The programme will be managed jointly by Coleg Sir Gâr’s Agriculture Research Centre in partnership with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).
'Widespread'
Speaking at the launch, John Griffiths, manager of the Agriculture Research Centre based at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Gelli Aur campus said BVD in cattle is "widespread" in Wales.
“[It causes] annual losses totalling up to £15,000 and £4,500 respectively in the average sized dairy and beef herds. This disease can reduce fertility, increase incidences of abortion and cause pneumonia in affected stock, so it has drastic and long-lasting effects on all farms affected, from both a personal and business perspective.
“This new voluntary disease eradication programme will be conducted alongside Wales’s annual herd TB testing regime to help identify herds infected with BVD. Support will also be available to find the persistently infected (PI) animals from infected herds.
“The testing phase will continue over a three-year period. When complete, we’ll hopefully be in an improved position with regards to BVD in Wales and our ultimate aim is to make Wales BVD free.”
'Unpleasant virus'
Dr Neil Paton, Lecturer in Farm Animal Health and Production at the RVC, has played a significant part in the project’s development and will act as the Veterinary Technical lead for its duration.
“BVD is an unpleasant virus and represents a significant drain on the UK cattle industry. This new disease eradication programme is the first industry driven initiative that aims to eradicate a disease in Wales.” said Dr. Paton.
BVD is a viral and immunosuppressive disease maintained by a small population of animals that become persistently infected and are a risk to the health of the rest of the herd.
This affects the farms production system in terms of cost and animal welfare issues that can lead to pneumonia, scour, infertility and reproductive disorders.





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