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.
The BVDFree England Scheme
What is BVD?
Bovine Viral Diarrhoea or BVD is a highly contagious viral disease of cattle. It is one of the biggest disease issues facing the UK cattle industry. BVD has been estimated to cost between £13 and £31 per cow in Great Britain. The national cost could be as high as £61M per year. (Bennett and Ijpelaar, 2005)
What is the BVDFree Scheme?
BVDFree England is a voluntary industry-led scheme, working to eliminate Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) from all cattle in England. The key to success is to identify and remove all animals persistently infected (PI) with the BVD virus from the English cattle herd.
The scheme is built around a national database, bvdfree.org.uk, which is searchable for the BVD status of individual animals and herds tested under the scheme. Famers must register with BVDFree to enable their herds’ BVD test results to be uploaded to the database. Individual animal BVD status can be found by entering a UK tag number, or you can search the database for a herd’s BVD status using the CPH number. This provides farmers with recognition, confidence and traceability when buying and selling BVDFree cattle.
The website is designed to be an information portal on BVD, providing relevant technical documents to aid BVD control and elimination. Please note that the BVDFree Scheme is not able to advise farmers on their specific BVD control plans. These should be discussed with your vet.
BVD Free Accredited Farms
How do I become BVD Free?
We’ve created a simple 5 step process that you need to complete to achieve BVD Free status.
In late 2020, the Ruminant Health and Welfare Group (RHWG) developed a “grassroots” survey to identify the disease, health and welfare priorities of professionals in