We would like to reassure members of the BVDFree England scheme and those involved in the wider cattle industry that we will do everything that can be done to ensure continuity of the schemes, including the ability to maintain test negative herd statuses where relevant. We would also like to draw your attention to the advice given by BCVA for vet practices at this time.
Currently, due to Covid19 restrictions, farm animal vets must follow the current Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons guidelines. Where sampling is deemed to be appropriate after taking into account the current RCVS guidelines and following a veterinary risk assessment for each farm, testing of blood and tissue samples for BVD may be carried out at designated/approved laboratories.
To manage the gap in testing, we will maintain herd accreditation status and issue renewal certificates based on a signed declaration from the herd keeper and corresponding vet that the biosecurity principles and rules of the programme have been and will be followed. There will be no requirement to blood sample and test animals until such time as the restrictions to sampling at the farm are removed as a consequence of a change in the UK Covid 19 infection control strategy.
When routine testing is resumed, herds whose tests have been delayed will be given a six-month period in which to have blood sampling and testing completed. Their certification status will be maintained during this period and we will maintain clear communication with our members on the changing requirements.
Vendors and purchasers of breeding cattle and the auctioneers and marts who facilitate sales should be particularly mindful of the need to manage biosecurity at this time. Breeders should consult with their vet to minimise the risk of infectious disease.