Ear tag use to make for easier BVD monitoring

A safe, quick, robust and easy-to-use ear tag which also takes a sample, making it possible to identify the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) status of dairy and beef herds has been launched.

TypiFix ear tags represent an easy and reliable tool for getting a preserved sample for BVDV analysis which aims to help farmers identify this costly disease instantly.

With reports BVD is probably the most economically-significant viral disease effecting cattle in the UK at the moment with a typical cost of infection in a 100-cow beef herd being in the region of £45,000 over a 10-year period which can be doubled for a similar-sized dairy herd the disease certainly needs to be properly identified.

Tim Rees sales director for QuickTag said: “With Scotland already introducing an eradication programme for BVD last year we must start identifying this disease everywhere else in the UK as they are important trading partners. With voluntary phase stage one introduced to screen all breeding herds in Scotland last year, its aim now is to raise awareness of the disease and the importance of getting persistently infected animals removed from the national herd.”

Eradication programme

Phase Two of this eradication programme is mandatory

• From December 2011 – mandatory annual screening
• From December 2012 – banning the movement of Persistently Infected animals other than direct to slaughter.
• From December 2012 – the status of the herd or animal must be declared at sale
• If necessary, put movement restrictions on herds where BVD goes unchecked

How much will BVD eradication save me?

Scottish government economists have calculated the following benefits of eradicating BVD for four average types of farm:

Annual benefits after eradication:
• Dairy = £15,800
• LFA specialist beef = £2,40
• LFA cattle = sheep £1,800
• Lowground cattle sheep = £2,400

BVD can have a wide range of effects on a herd with early signs showing transient diarrhoea, milk drop and, in calves a mild pneumonia, but infected bulls can become infertile for several months as well as spreading the disease through their semen.

But BVD really strikes during the breeding season and pregnancy when the virus passes across the placenta to infect the unborn calf causing early embryonic loss, abortions, infertility and the birth of deformed calves.

With decades of experience in ear tag manufacturing, TypiFix builds on years of experience in official animal ID projects. The system is compliant with EU regulations on animal identification (eg, PAS 44:2002 approval)

How does it work?

During the application of the ear tag, in a one-step procedure the tissue sample is punched out and hermetically sealed in the TypiFix sample container. The adequate size of the sample container makes sure it can’t get lost (during handling on farm and during transport).

Without the need for further packaging requirements, the sample container can be sent to the lab without the need for refrigeration by regular mail.

For more information call QuickTag who will help find your closest supplier www.quicktag.co.uk