Farmers queue up to stamp out BVD disease

Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group hosted three meetings for farmers in the autumn covering two subjects.

By Andrew Sawyer, Alnorthumbria Veterinary Group
Sunday, 3rd February 2019, 1:55 pm
Farmer Meeting South Charlton.
Farmer Meeting South Charlton.

The first talk was about the proper use of medicines, and the second subject was the BVD Stamp It Out campaign being run in England.

A follow-up meeting for those who could not attend was held in January and it filled to overflowing South Charlton Village Hall.

The practice has signed up more than its quota of farmers for the BVD Stamp It Out campaign. This involved a lot of forms to be completed on the night of the meetings and, hopefully, Anna will be able to keep on top of the necessary records going forward.

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For most farmers the next step is a screening check test of nine to 15-month-old home bred cattle to see if BVD is present. I have already had results from some farms and in one case I am following up the results with a hunt for the infected animals.

BVD causes a wide range of disease problems, but as we have accurate tests and know how the disease works, it is possible to control and eradicate. If everybody put eradication of the disease as a priority, there would be huge long-term savings and improved herd health.

I’ve done some pregnancy diagnosis of autumn calving cows already as one farmer was dubious about the new bulls he bought and, unfortunately, one has failed to get any cows in calf. This is a serious loss as even if the cows get pregnant to another bull, they will not calve until November or December, instead of September. Very few people like calving that late in the year with the short days and unpleasant weather.

The case does show that good stockmanship and observation is vital as the losses could have been even greater if the cows were only discovered to be empty in the autumn.