Increased turnaround times for BVD testing expected due to Covid-19

The impact of Covid-19 on Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) testing is expected to result in an increase in turnaround times for tests in the coming weeks.

In a statement today, Friday, March 20, the BVD Implementation Group – made up of various stakeholder groups – outlined how Covid-19 is impacting the BVD Eradication Programme.

The group stressed that the first priority is protecting human health by adhering to HSE guidelines.

There are currently no delays to testing in designated laboratories, though it is expected that turnaround times may increase in the coming weeks, the group said.

Notwithstanding this, farmers are being advised to continue to collect samples as soon as possible after birth.

The statement went on to say that farm organisations have put in place mechanisms to assist with both collection of samples for posting and registration of calves, should this be required in a case where a farmer has to self-isolate as a result of Covid-19.

Where there is a delay in receiving results, calves should be isolated, with emphasis on avoiding contact with pregnant females – either directly or through shared equipment, or movement of people without adequate precautions.

The BVD Implementation group statement can be seen here. The group said it would be providing further updates as the situation unfolds.

Department laboratories

In related news, laboratories operated by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will soon be assisting in the efforts to detect and diagnose Covid-19 in humans.

A spokesperson for the department told AgriLand that the laboratories will be used to assist the National Virus Reference Laboratory at University College Dublin (UCD).

The spokesperson stressed that the department would continue to provide laboratory services in the areas of food safety and disease control.