The Scottish Government has today launched a consultation on a scheme to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD). This contagious disease of cattle is prevalent in Scotland, reducing the productivity of affected cattle and compromising their welfare.

The Scottish Government has today launched a consultation on a scheme to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD). This contagious disease of cattle is prevalent in Scotland, reducing the productivity of affected cattle and compromising their welfare.  
  
Scottish Government economic analysis puts the annual cost of BVD at around £10,000 for a dairy business and £2,000 a year for other cattle businesses.The proposed scheme would be in two stages. In the first (voluntary) phase farmers would receive £100 for every Persistently Infected (PI) animal slaughtered. In the second (compulsory) phase PI cattle would have to go straight to slaughter, recompense would be nominal at best, and screening tests would be mandatory.
 
Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Eradicating BVD would deliver a major improvement in the competitiveness and welfare standards of cattle herds in Scotland. We have already successfully kept bluetongue and foot and mouth out of Scotland, and last year we became officially TB free and had no BSE cases. BVD is next.
 
“I would encourage everyone with an interest in the cattle sectors to consider the proposal and give us their views. This scheme can only work if there is clear demand from the industry.
 
“Eradication could be worth between £50 million and £80 million in increased output and reduced business costs over the next 10 years. That’s £10,000 per year in additional output for dairy farm businesses and around £2,000 per year for other cattle farm types. It would also reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from the cattle sector.”
 
Scottish rural affairs secretary Richard  LochheadThis proposal builds on work done by industry and science stakeholders over the past year, especially George Caldow at SAC (Scottish Agricultural College), Nigel Miller at NFU Scotland and Peter Nettleton.
 
BVD causes a complex of diseases in cattle, the most important of which interfere with reproduction, affect the unborn calf and lead to mucosal disease. BVD virus can also cause enteritis during acute or transient infection which is usually mild but occasionally severe enough to cause mortality, even in adult cattle. Transient BVD virus infection is also associated with significant suppression of disease resistance and may contribute to the pneumonia complex in calves.
 
PI cattle are those infected in the womb. They will always carry and shed the disease, though they may not show symptoms and may live for some time. Getting them out of the national herd is critical to any eradication attempt.
 
The proposed scheme would take into account existing trade patterns with other parts of the UK through provision for quarantine and testing of animals of unknown status moving to Scotland.
 
Mandatory screening tests are essential to eradication as the status of herds must be known and PIs identified. Testing would be carried out by vets and samples sent to designated laboratories.
 
The consultation will be available on the Scottish Government website.

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz