Peter Jones Livestock tests all young calves going into rear for BVD virus and urges all livestock producers to follow suit. BVD is arguably the most economically significant disease affecting British cattle today with more than 2/3rds of farms demonstrating infection or previous exposure.
The virus can cause interference with reproduction in cows and heifers, poor calf immunity to other diseases, calf pneumonia and can influence the development of the unborn foetus resulting in a range of abnormalities. BVD virus can also bring on acute diarrhoea which at its worst can take on the fatal form Type 11 BVD.
Importantly infection during the first 1/3rd of pregnancy can result in a calf which develops in the womb and survives. It is this calf that once born will provide the major route for the spread of the disease.
Semen from acutely infected bulls can spread the virus as can contaminated needles, passing the virus on from animal to animal, herd to herd.
Through their initiative of regular BVD testing, Peter Jones Livestock highlights the potential for huge savings to many farm businesses through the reduction in abortion/reproductive losses, improved calf health, improved mortality and reduced veterinary costs.
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