The traditional ‘two-dose’ approach with BVD we have used over the years leaves too many ‘gaps’ for the virus to stay alive. Also we know that we don’t get all the correct animals vaccinated and there are lots of failed primary vaccinations and missed boosters. We want to switch our clients onto a better way to stamp BVD out on their farm for good. Hopefully paving the way for our practice, and maybe the country, to become BVD free at long last. We’re fed up talking about BVD and we think you may be fed up of battling it too. ‘BVD day’ makes BVD control loads simpler and more effective.
Nowhere to hide…
Bovela presents us with a better opportunity to make things simple and to have greater confidence the farm is protected. This is because it is a live vaccine requiring only one dose to give 12 months of protection. BVD is involved in many diseases beyond just infertility and we want to protect animals from as young as possible. For this reason we are launching a new approach we call ‘BVD Day’. One day a year we deal with BVD for the whole farm, with just a sweep up if required – this is in conversation with your vet. We will also do our screening on that day too to make sure the farm is virus free.
So what happens on BVD Day?
- A VetTech gives all animals that are staying on the farm (so not barrens or calves that are about to be sold) a dose of Bovela BVD vaccine.
- We blood test a batch of unvaccinated animals over 9 months old to screen for signs of active infection
- We’ll take a bulk milk sample (from dairy farms) to test for any virus carriers in the adult milking herd on the day
- Finally we will register the farm for Stamp It Out to cover the cost of the tests and any further investigation
That’s it then – BVD sorted in one day and we arrange to repeat the process in 12 months time.
You only pay for the vaccine. We cover the VetTech time, the sampling and lab fees and the ‘Stamp It Out’ membership. We encourage you to also enrol in the BVD Free scheme, the national eradication plan, which provides accreditation to farms who are free of the disease.
This will be at the discretion of the vet working with your consent. Although the vaccine is licensed to be used down to 3 months of age on data sheet, many vets may recommend using it earlier to allow benefits of protection younger than that age. This would need discussing with the vet and would be tailored individually for each farm. This approach avoids a ‘heifer gap’ for bulling heifers that get served before the next BVD day, which many vets may decide is a worthwhile use of the vaccine outside of its data sheet recommendation.
We know that having BVD active in growing animals greatly increases the risk of pneumonia as well as reduced feed conversion and growth rates. It is suspected that BVD also increases the severity and duration of TB outbreaks because it suppresses immunity of animals. It may reduce the capability of vaccines for other diseases too. Leaving animals unvaccinated is part of the reason that we have struggled for decades to get rid of this virus.
For many of our farms this is what we recommend if you are on annual testing. We can only vaccinate on the day we read the test however, as we are not permitted to treat animals on the first day.