The RVC will be providing technical direction to an industry lead project to eradicate BVD from the cattle herd in Wales. Bovine Viral Diarrhoea is an important immunosuppressive disease of cattle and is an underlying problem on many cattle farms and leads to an increased severity of many other diseases that can be found on farms. BVD in cattle is widespread in Wales. Its effect is serious and far-reaching, causing reduced fertility, abortion and pneumonia.
Collaborating with Coleg Sir Gar in successfully gaining £9 milllion from the European Rural Development fund, RVC staff member Dr Neil Paton, will work with Vets and farmers in Wales to remove the disease from the Welsh national herd.
All 12000 farms in Wales will be offered a test every year for 3 years to see if they have BVD on their farm. This will be 5 blood samples from young calves at the annual bovine tuberculosis test. If they prove to have BVD on their farm then they will be supported to become disease free.
This is the first time that an industry lead programme to eradicate a disease has been started in Wales. This project will have a significant positive impact on the productivity of Welsh Agriculture and estimates suggest that for every £1 invested the benefit is £10 returned to the rural economy. BVD eradication will have a direct impact on improving the health and welfare of cattle in Wales.