Herd health testing for BVD

Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is a disease caused by bovine pestivirus.

Bernadette Crayston, Cattle Information Service area manager
Bernadette Crayston, Cattle Information Service area manager

Infection in non-pregnant animals results in diarrhoea, reduced conception rates and immuno-suppression. Infection in pregnant animals can result in abortion, the birth of stunted calves or calves born with ‘persistent infection.’

BVD is spread by animal to animal contact and thought to be endemic in over 85 per cent of UK dairy herds. It is difficult to detect and a costly disease estimated at £31 per cow per year.

The most effective way to detect BVD in a herd is looking for exposure to BVD virus by measuring antibody levels in bulk milk, individual cow milk or blood samples from cows.

Identifying persistently infected cattle (PIs) is done by using either ear notch tissue tags, blood tests or screening the bulk milk for the possible presence of a PI with a PCR test.

For information on testing for BVD call 01923 695319 or watch the CIS BVD webinar https://youtu.be/aiPPJZMrmyE

Bernadette Crayston, Cattle Information Service area manager

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