2017-08-14   facebooktwitterrss

Border Disease Certification for Rams Launched

A new Border Disease certification for breeding rams has been launched by Innovis.

Claimed to be the first of its kind for Border Disease virus (BDV), the validation is designed to help all commercial sheep producers improve flock health, welfare and financial returns. Each of Innovis Breeding Program’s 2,500 rams available this season has been individually bled and tested for BDV.


Furthermore, since BDV is closely related to Bovine Viral Diarrhoea virus (BVDV) in cattle, and sheep can be infected by both BDV and BVDV, then the Border Disease sheep certification will be relevant to all those mixed livestock farmers involved in BVDV herd eradication programmes.

“BDV is a complex disease, and a less commonly diagnosed cause of abortion and present in flocks throughout the UK,” explains Innovis vet, Izzy Willison. “BDV is caused by foetal infection in early pregnancy resulting in foetal death and reabsorption, abortion or still birth, whilst infected ewes show no symptoms.

“Lambs born from infected ewes can be small, stunted, hairy and have low viability. Those fetuses infected in the first half of gestation, along with some appearing normal, will be persistently infected (PI) with BDV. These PI sheep will excrete the virus particularly from the nose and mouth, continuously for the rest of their lives.”

She adds: “To test the entire flock for BDV can be hugely expensive, consequently we believe it is far more judicious to prevent introducing the disease in the first place. Until vaccine or a control scheme is available, introducing a Borders Disease free certified ram is the first step in the right direction.”


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