The current status of the Scottish BVD eradication program is in time. 83 per cent of the Scottish Beef and Dairy cattle herds have a negative BVD status. Starting from the 1st June 2015 the program will start with its fourth stage that implies enhanced testing and further movement restrictions for cattle herds with an unknown or negative BVD status.
The Scottish government will introduce:
· Movement restrictions on “not negative” herds
· A reduction in the number of testing options available
· The requirement to test replacement animals from untested herds.
This is already the fourth step of the BVD eradication program that should prevent farmers from huge economic losses due to the fatal and hidden disease (s. economic effects of BVD).
History of the BVD Eradication Scheme:
In Stage One – subsidised screening, performed from September 2010 to April 2011, farmers were supported with around £180.000 (≈250.000€) to test for BVD to determine the BVD status of their herds.
In Stage Two – mandatory annual screening, all breeding cattle herds needed to undergo a single BVD screening and an annually follow up. Furthermore all calves born have to be tested within 40 days. The first screening had to be done by the 1st of February 2013 and is repeated since then.
In order to control the measures and create a sustainable BVD eradication the third Stage, being effective since January 2014, implemented a ban on selling and moving infected BVDV cattle, required BVD status before selling and further restrictions for untested herds and animals.
So the now announced fourth step is the logical consequence to eradicate the disease. Furthermore it is always recommended for farmers to set up a set of measures containing vaccination and well sorted biosecurity as part of the eradication programs.
Scott Henderson, Chairman of the Scottish Beef Association, stated: “The eradication of the disease has been a prime focus in Scotland for some time. The Scottish Government wants to protect the industry from infection from PI animals in Europe, and that includes the rest of the UK. This is a big issue in Scotland, and it will also be important for all farmers who trade across the Border.”