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Stackyard News Apr 2012

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Accreditation of BVD Tests Offers Cost-Effective Options

National Milk Laboratories’ range of tests for the cattle disease Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) has recently gained accreditation from UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Services). The services, on offer from NML’s Glasgow site, offer British beef and dairy producers a range of tests on tissue, blood and milk samples. These tests meet with the Scottish Government’s requirements specified in the mandatory surveillance phase of the BVD eradication scheme. The deadline for demonstration of BVD status comes into force in February 2013.


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“By February 2013 all Scottish herds must have carried out some surveillance tests for BVD and have an assigned BVD status,” says NML manager Steve West. “NML can offer a unique Tag and Test service which is a particularly attractive option for beef and dairy calves. This integrated and simple service supplies tags for new born calves with a bar-coded vial attached to the tag applicators. The tissue from the ear is placed in the vial and posted to NML for BVD testing. This accurate and reliable test gives full traceability and early results that can be back with the vet or on farm – or both as requested – within five days of the tissue arriving at the lab.”

NML can also offer quarterly bulk milk antibody tests for BVD using milk samples already collected on behalf of milk buyers for their payment testing service. “Again, the producer does not need to take more milk samples and they do not have to post milk samples or arrange collection. We already hold bulk samples from 98% of UK dairy farms and for many a daily sample is collected so one of these can be used to carry out a routine BVD test. “

Blood testing is also available via NML which allows cohorts in calf management groups to be tested for antibodies. The antigen and BVD virus can also be detected through blood tests.

More details of NML’s range of UKAS accredited BVD tests available to all British cattle producers are detailed on the web site

The Scottish Government’s BVD guidance booklet can also be downloaded from this web site along with submission forms. Alternatively producers can contact NML on 01902 749920.

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