2013-12-16   facebooktwitterrss
Prevalence of BVD in Ulster Herds

The latest AgriSearch farmers’ booklet was launched at the RUAS Winter Fair in a talk given by Maria Guelbenzu of Veterinary Sciences Division, AFBI. The booklet reveals the results of two AgriSearch co-funded BVD prevalence studies.

The first study involved 181 dairy herds sampled using bulk milk samples (with the kind co-operation of United Dairy Farmers). The second study included 589 dairy and suckler herds from across Northern Ireland using bloods collected at a brucellosis herd test. Both studies were co-funded by DARD the second study was funded through the Research Challenge Fund.

Gary McHenry, Chairman, AgriSearch Dairy Advisory Committee with vet Maria Guelbenzu of AFBI who led a discussion during the RUAS Winter Fair on the incidence of BVD, Bovine Viral Diarrhoea, in Northern Irish herds as detailed in the recently published AgriSearch booklet.

Gary McHenry, Chairman, AgriSearch Dairy Advisory Committee with vet Maria Guelbenzu of AFBI who led a discussion during the RUAS Winter Fair on the incidence of BVD, Bovine Viral Diarrhoea, in Northern Irish herds as detailed in the recently published AgriSearch booklet

The first study showed that a very high proportion of Northern Ireland dairy herds were seropositive to BVDV; over 85% had high levels of antibodies to BVD in their bulk milk and in nearly 10% of herds BVD virus was detected in the bulk milk. Most of the dairy herds with active BVD infection (positive for BVD virus in the bulk milk tank) were already vaccinating for BVD.

The second study showed that exposure to BVDV is very widespread in Northern Ireland dairy and suckler herds, 66% of all herds tested had at least one seropositive animal within those tested. In the context of control and eradication, these herds would require further individual animal sampling.

The high prevalence of seropositive animals supports a Northern Ireland programme that directly identifies PI (persistently infected) animals (similar to programmes in Switzerland, Germany and Republic of Ireland (ROI)) over those which use initial serological screening to categorise herds (Scandinavian approach). Another advantage is the ‘two for one’ result. All PI dams will have PI calves so a calf that is not a PI will have a dam that is not a PI.

The booklet in available on request from Agrisearch phone 028 8778 9770

Agrisearch

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