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18/06/13 11:10

BVD database goes live

Rural Affairs Secretary announces next step in Bovine Viral Diarrhoea eradication scheme.

A Scottish database for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) goes live today, giving farmers a clearer picture of the BVD test results and progress towards eradication.

The database – part of the ScotEID project – allows farmers to view the BVD status results for their own herd and for each animal that has been tested. Eligible vets will also be able to change a herd status once control measures have been taken to eradicate BVD from affected cattle.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead, who will address the British Veterinary Association’s annual dinner tonight (Tuesday), said:

“It’s important that we tackle BVD as it can cause abortion, infertility, failure to thrive and often death - that’s why we have embarked on a BVD eradication scheme.

“Testing is a key part of the eradication scheme and the database will allow the industry to use the data to help them buy cattle with confidence.

“BVD eradication can improve herd health and reduce vets bills and the database has an important role to play in this. Eradication of the disease will also save the industry an estimated £50-80 million over a 10 year period - a saving of around £16,000 per annum to the average dairy farm and £2,000 to other cattle farms.”

BVD is one of the most important diseases of cattle in terms of economic cost and welfare, causing abortion, infertility, failure to thrive and often death. Around 40 per cent of Scottish herds show signs of exposure.

The disease is mainly spread by persistently infected (PI) cattle which are born with the disease. While the majority of the PIs die as calves, some can survive for a relatively long period and appear healthy. It is estimated that around one per cent of all calves born in Scotland are persistently infected. The eradication campaign is focussing on removal of all PIs from the Scottish herd.”

Notes to editors

Further information about BVD is available here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/animal-welfare/Diseases/disease/bvd

Case studies highlighting the benefits of BVD eradication are available here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/animal-welfare/Diseases/disease/bvd/bvd-case-studies-2013

The Scottish Government launched an industry led scheme to eradicate BVD in 2010. This was the culmination of a process that had the support of BVD experts, vets, scientists and the cattle sector which led to a proposal for a national eradication scheme and was developed by a Scottish Cattle Industry Group. The scheme for eradication has been split into four stages in accordance with industry wishes; one - subsidised screening, two - mandatory screening, three - control measures and four - biosecurity. We are currently moving from stage two in to stage three.