More than 30 per cent of the English cattle breeding herd has been signed up to the scheme to prevent bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) in both beef and dairy cows.
BVD,a highly contagious viral disease of cattle, is one of the biggest disease issues facing the UK cattle industry. It has been estimated to cost about £61m per year nationally.
BVDFree England is a voluntary industry-led scheme, working to free all cattle herds in England from BVD. It is supported by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), The British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA), Holstein UK (HUK), Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA), National Beef Association (NBA) and the National Farmers Union (NFU), alongside more than 100 other industry supporters.
It also works in partnership with the StampItOut inititative, which provides funding from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) through vets to help eradicate BVD on farm.
Lorna Gow, BVDFree project manager for the scheme, said: “We would like to thank all farmers that have already signed up to the scheme and are committed to eradicating BVD.
“More than 4,500 herds have signed up and it’s fantastic that that we have managed to reach 30 per cent of the national breeding herd. It indicates we are well on our way to reach our goal of making England free of BVD.”
BVDFree England has also launched a new tool that helps vets and practices identify which farms have signed up to the scheme and see the BVD test results of all their registered farms.
Lorna, said: “This is the first time all data can be accessed centrally and allows better communication between BVDFree, vets and farmers for the better control of BVD.”