ANIMAL HEALTH IRELAND Contributing to a profitable and sustainable farming and agri-food sector through improved animal health
AHI BULLETIN BVD-FREE HERDS - FOCUS ON BIOSECURITY DURING EARLY PREGNANCY
C onsiderable progress has been made in the BVD eradication programme, with over a six- fold reduction in the prevalence of PI calves born in 2013 (0.66%) and 2017 (0.10%). Over 80% of breeding herds have acquired negative herd status (NHS), indicating that all animals in these herds have a recorded negative status. PI calves are born as a result of infection in-utero between 30 and 120 days of pregnancy. Given the strong bias to spring-calving in Ireland, the majority of next year’s calves will go through this period in the coming months as the breeding season begins. It is important that negative herds maximise biosecurity to prevent accidental introduction of infection from outside the herd. Key factors to consider include: • Movement of personnel (including the farmer) without adequate attention to hygiene. Only essential visitors should contact cattle (directly or indirectly) and all personnel should use farm- specific boots and clothing or take steps to ensure that adequate disinfection procedures are followed. • Contact with cattle across boundaries. Ideally cattle in early pregnancy should not graze at boundaries where nose to nose contact with other cattle is possible. Otherwise boundaries should be sufficient to prevent cattle breaking in or out and provide a gap of at least 3m (even if only on a temporary basis using an electric fence).
• Purchased cattle, or those returning unsold or from shows should be held in a quarantine facility (building or paddock) for at least 28 days, with particular care taken to avoid them coming in contact with pregnant stock during this period. • Movement or sharing of large or small items of equipment should be avoided where possible. Otherwise adequate disinfection should be in place. While vaccination will not prevent the entry of BVD virus onto a farm, it can minimize the impact of accidental introduction. Herdowners are encouraged to discuss all aspects of biosecurity, including their vaccination policy, with their own veterinary practitioner.
It is important that negative herds maximise biosecurity to prevent accidental introduction of infection from outside the herd.
Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim N41 WN27. Phone 071 9671928 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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