The BVDFree England scheme reached a significant milestone this week, with 1,000 herds now registered to take part in the nationwide eradication scheme and we are extremely proud that 50 of those farms are ours. In total 25,000 individual animal BVD statuses are searchable on the BVDFree database.
This has been achieved with support from 100 vet practices who are actively supporting the scheme and working with farmers to help improve performance. In herds with a chronic infection, BVD costs approximately £37 per cow every year*, whereas a proactive approach to eliminate BVD, such as tag testing calves, costs around £3.30 per calf**. Therefore it is much more cost effective for farmers to use their vet’s expertise to improve animal health across the herd.
The BVDFree scheme provides a framework for farmers to work towards a BVDFree herd status, which includes assessing the risks of bringing BVD onto the farm and testing to find out if the disease is circulating in the herd. Once a herd is signed up to the scheme and begins testing, it must continue to test annually, either by completing a youngstock check test for each management group or by tag testing all calves born. BVD Free England also provides a framework for those selling stock and gives buyers confidence in the BVD status of the purchased animals. No farm can afford not to be free from BVD.
To kick start the process of eliminating BVD on farm, visit bvdfree.org.uk and join the scheme. As more farmers engage with BVDFree, the goal of passing on a cattle population free from BVD for the next generation of cattle farmers becomes more achievable.