British Cattle Veterinary Association Congress


The vast array and differences between BVD eradication programmes both within the UK and into Europe was captured at the recent BCVA (British Cattle Veterinary Association) Congress in Leicestershire. Defra’s Christine Middlemiss outlined the range of approaches, leaving delegates from England and Wales perhaps wondering at what point there would be some clarity and consistency.

Acknowledging Scotland is due to enter stage four of its programme, Ms Middlemiss commented on the fragmented control programmes in England and Wales, saying without a more joined up approach, a Government-led eradication programme was not on the cards.

“Defra’s guidelines give four reasons for intervention into a health area and examining BVD according to those guidelines and our own KPIs (key performance indicators) does not make it a priority currently,” she said. Defra’s four reasons for intervention:

  • Public health.
  • Social and economic reasons.
  • Animal welfare.
  • Trade impact.

“BVD doubtless leads to significant economic losses. This, coupled with the insidious nature of the disease and the time lag between exposure to the virus and animal effect ought to promote BVD as a disease Defra should be more involved with. “If the industry can work together, giving Defra clear and non-conflicting messages about disease control with one national group responsible for a programme instead of the fragmented situation we find ourselves in currently, we will listen,” she explained.

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The two following videos have been recorded at the BCVA congress and give you an update on the challenges of disease eradication in the UK and experiences of the severe outbreaks in Germany.

BVD: Progress Through Partnership - Christine Middlemiss BVMS MRCVS of Defra outlines governmental ambitions for BVD control in England in relation to the rest of the UK

The emergence of highly virulent BVDV 2c – Dr. med.vet. Horst Schirrmeier (Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut) discusses recent BVD outbreaks, in the context of the German BVD eradication scheme.

Leicestershire, October 2014