Scottish farmers are being encouraged to identify the BVD status of all breeding cattle herds ahead of phase two of the Scottish government’s BVD eradication programme.
Speaking to Farmers Weekly at this year’s Royal Highland Show, Scottish government senior policy officer Gordon Struth urged producers who hadn’t already done so to ascertain the BVD status of their herds before 1 February 2013.
In addition, he said the government was keen for cattle farmers to respond to a consultation into how the next phase of the eradication programme would be implemented; producers have until 17 August to respond.
Proposals include a ban on the movement of PI cattle, the need for all cattle to have their BVD status declared before any movement and eventually a ban on the movement of BVD-infected cattle, other than to slaughter.
“If you discover you have BVD in your herd, you should work with your vet to get rid of it. It’s quite cheap to get rid of, but an expensive disease to have in the herd; quite often, for example, a pneumonia problem is masking a BVD issue,” he said.
These measures come following a subsidised BVD testing drive of more than 4,000 cattle farmers across Scotland in 2010-11; the study found a high prevalence of BVD in the south-west of Scotland, with more than 60% of dairy herds testing positive for the disease.
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