UK cattle vets have a fantastic opportunity to help farmers

UK cattle vets have a fantastic opportunity to help farmers take a significant step forward in controlling BVD and build demand for disease-free animals on a commercial scale.

Speaking to delegates at the annual BCVA Congress in Leicestershire [Friday, October 17th 2014], Dan Humphries from the XLVets practice Lambert, Leonard and May urged practitioners to embrace the BVD CHECK Tag initiative and work together to improve disease control across the UK.

The MSD Animal Health supported initiative uses branded white ear tags as part of a BVD status testing procedure. The white tags show that an animal has been tested for BVD – either at birth or pre-movement – and provide an easily identifiable and highly visible prompt for calf buyers to check test results online before purchase.

“Tissue-testing for BVD is not a new concept, but BVD CHECK TAG does offer some significant new benefits for the cattle industry and the veterinary profession,” he said. “White ear tags are easily identifiable, the testing scheme is backed up by a central, fully accessible web-based database that provides verification of a negative test result for the disease, and the whole process keeps vets involved with their farmer clients.”

The main aims of BVD CHECK TAG are to improve the ident“The scheme is entirely voluntification of source farms antently infected (PI) calves moving from unit to unit, thereby stemming the spread of the disease.d reduce the risks of persisary with

“The scheme has been piloted through XLVets member practices, but other veterinary practices can now take advantage of it. The database is being hosted independently, thereby allowing the branded white tag to become a universal symbol to promote BVD awareness and prompt positive action to remove PIs,” he added. farmers first having to make the decision to use the tissue sample testing technology to initiate the process. The white BVD CHECK TAG tags are available from a number of tag suppliers, with tissue analysis either done by the vet practice or through a central laboratory, depending on the type of tag used. Cost is estimated to be approximately £4-6/tag, which includes the laboratory testing and veterinary consultative input,” Dan Humphries said.