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BVD Deadline ahead for Scottish cattlekeepers

Movement restrictions start on 1st June – show guidance issued
 
The next phase of Scotland’s Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) eradication scheme comes into play on 1st June, by which time all Scottish herds must have their BVD status established. The 1st June deadline introduces tough movement restrictions on herds ‘not negative’ for BVD. 
 
BVD testing is already an annual requirement for Scottish cattle keepers and it is illegal to knowingly sell any animal persistently infected (PI) with the disease. 
 
Phase 4 of BVD eradication, which starts on 1st June, will bring restriction for any holdings with a ‘not negative’ status, or holdings that have no valid annual herd status recorded.  The BVD herd screen is an annual requirement and herds that have not carried out a test in the last 12 months should contact their vet and do so now or face restrictions come 1st June.   In herds with a ‘not negative’ status, animals will need to be individually tested before moving – unless that move is direct to slaughter.
 
Figures show that more than 85 percent of holdings currently have a negative BVD status which is positive news. However, for the remaining herds that have a ‘not-negative’ status, they have a limited window available to tackle the problem.
 
As a result of the new rules on BVD, Scotland’s agricultural shows will also be required to establish the BVD status of cattle entered at events. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has included guidance on BVD in the show packs that it has sent to all show secretaries this year.
 
NFU Scotland Policy Manager Penny Johnston said: “Scotland’s ambition of ridding our cattle of BVD is progressing well but the start date for Phase 4, on 1st June, is looming large.
 
“Cattle keepers may have had their herds tested at the outset of the initiative, but the reminder is that you must keep your herd status up to date. A clear test in the past isn’t enough and you must screen your herd annually to maintain your status. 
 
“As we move to the next phase, all cattle keepers need to work with their vets and keep their testing status up-to-date. Allowing annual checks to slip further than 13 months will also trigger movement restrictions until testing is carried out. 
 
“If you do not have a BVD negative status or your annual test has not been completed, then animals will need to be individually tested in order to be moved, other than direct to slaughter.
 
 
“The rules could have ramifications if you are planning to exhibit at a show from 1st June onwards. Show societies have been advised by APHA of the new BVD rules making them aware that cattle at shows after this date must come from a herd with a negative BVD status or animals have been individually tested.  APHA states that it is the show organisers’ responsibility to check this.”
 
Notes to editor
 
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency (AHPA) has issued the following guidance to show secretaries regarding the introduction of new BVD rules on 1st June.
    • Any animal coming from a Scottish holding must have a ‘negative’ herd status for BVD or be individually tested negative for the BVD virus.
    • Any animal from a ‘not negative’ herd cannot move to a show unless it has been individually tested negative for the BVD virus.
    • Any animal coming from outside Scotland should either be from a BVD CHeCS accredited herd or individually tested negative for the BVD virus. 
    • Show organisers responsibility to ensure they check individual animal status
    • Failure to do so may, depending on the terms of any agreements entered into between farmers and show organisers, result in show organisers being subject to possible compensation claims from farmers if for example a Persistently Infected (PI) animal enters the showground and infects negative animals.
    • Show organisers should ask for a declaration by farmers prior to the show, where they can check on the BVD data base (ScotEID) and if necessary refuse entry.
  • For more information on the BVD scheme requirements refer to the Scottish Government’s Farmer’s Guidance: BVD Eradication Scheme Phase 4 June 2015 Booklet sent to Scottish cattle keepers or go to: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/animal-welfare/Diseases/disease/bvd/whatsnew  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 92/15


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