BVD – Do farmers still need to vaccinate?

BVD test results continue to be received at ICBF and there have been 1.89m results received since January 1 2015.

Since the beginning of the voluntary phase in 2012, some 6.84m BVD test results have been received by the ICBF.

According to Animal Health Ireland the number of animals testing positive for the disease has fallen from 0.7% in 2013 to 0.3% this year.

With such a small number testing positive for BVD many dairy farmers at the Teagasc Moorepark open day questioned whether vaccination for BVD is still necessary?

According to Teagasc Animal Health Specialist Riona Sayers, the answer is yes.

“We had an outbreak of BVD in Moorepark in 2008/2009 and it cost the farm €30,000.

“At the moment we have most of the PIs cleared out of the country. We have dropped the number of these BVD transmitters by about half.”

However, Sayers also warned that there is still about 2,000 remaining in herds nationwide.

“The problem is we have maintained that little pocket of them in the country,” she said.

On the one hand, Sayers said, most farmers are getting rid of there PIs and are generating what known as naive herds. This also means that these herds don’t have a huge amount of immunity built up.

“In this situation if you don’t go in with a vaccine and if an outbreak breaks out through maybe a PI coming over the ditch or some indirect spread.

“It can end up as an extremely bad outbreak that will cost you that a lot of money,” she warned.

Sayers said until we get reports from AHI that the number of PIs in the county is down to .0% she recommends farmers stay vaccinating.

“We are kind of in a dangerous period at the moment. Until we get rid of these retained PIs the chances of out break are still very much there,” she said.

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