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Scottish Plans To Eradicate BVD

23 September 2010

SCOTLAND, UK - A programme to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) from Scotland's cattle herds has been unveiled.

The first phase of the scheme is being supported by £40,000 from the Scottish Government.

BVD in cattle causes abortion, infertility, failure to thrive and often death. It is present in around 40 per cent of herds in Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead said: "The industry can take it as a sign of our commitment that, at a time of unprecedented pressure on public finance, the Scottish Government is providing £400,000 to eradicate this disease.

"Ridding Scotland's cattle of BVD will generate an additional £50 million to £80 million to the industry over the next ten years. For the average dairy business this will be worth £16,000 per year and around £2,000 to the average beef business."

The programme will be undertaken in three stages:

The first phase, beginning yesterday - September 22, offers subsidised screening tests for farmers of breeding herds. The Scottish Government will subsidise testing in each herd by £36 and provide a further £72 for follow up tests and advice in positive herds.

An annual testing requirement on all cattle herds will be introduced from September 2011 and, from September 2012, all cattle identified as Persistently Infected will need to be housed in secure facilities or slaughtered.

Dependent on how the disease situation progresses, a final phase could see movement restrictions introduced on herds that failed to tackle their BVD problem.

BVD causes various symptoms in cattle affecting reproduction, calves and mucosal ailments. BVD virus can also cause enteritis in adult cattle and pneumonia in calves both of which can be fatal.

The disease is mainly spread by persistently infected cattle which are born with the disease. While the majority die as calves, some cattle born with the disease can survive for a relatively long period and appear healthy. Removing them from the national herd is critical to eradication.

Around two-fifths of all herds in Scotland have signs of exposure to BVD. There are an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 persistently infected animals in Scotland.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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