Vets vital for BVD – let’s make change together

5th Apr 2019 By Neil Paton

Since the Gwaredu BVD scheme began in July 2017, we’ve visited over 60 vet practices to discuss the importance of the programme and how you play a highly important role in the process. Armed with our “vet packs” – which include necessary equipment for you whilst you’re out-and-about; visiting farms and testing herds – we’ve engaged with lots of important discussion about how we can work together for the benefit of animal welfare.

We’ve had tonnes of positive results – including national press coverage and our recent announcement that we have successfully tested 7,000 herds cattle across Wales. But as we approach our “one-year left of free testing” mark – it’s more important than ever to encourage our farmers to take up this free service before it’s too late.

This is where you come in.

As a vet it’s not only your job to treat animals on your day-to-day, but to also engage and educate the owners of these animals. Some farmers may not yet be aware of the financial implication the BVD screening may have in a year’s time, nor see the importance of testing their herd for the disease all-together.

It can be difficult to spark up this conversation with farmers, but we want to make this process as seamless as possible – so it’s an easy process for all. We want to ensure vets are confident in engaging in this topic and encouraging farmers to take up the free screening, before it’s too late.

We can support you with testing for BVD

There are some questions that you may find difficult to answer at times, but that’s why we’re on hand to help –

Q: When will you visit my farm to test my herd?
A: We will visit annually, and the screening can be done on the same visit during TB testing.

Q: I don’t have the time for you to test my cattle.
A: The test will take no more than an additional 5 minutes after the TB test. We take a blood sample from five animals aged between 9-18 months old, and it’s a really simple process that I can do during this visit. We will give you the results 3 days after testing, along with your TB results.

Q: According to the current UK law, I can still sell my cattle on even if they’re infected with BVD. What’s the point in getting them tested?
A: Even though it’s not yet compulsory by law to test your herd for BVD, it doesn’t mean to say that it won’t be over the next few years, or even that private buyers won’t start asking for evidence of the cattle being free from disease. The health and welfare of your animals is also very important, so we believe this screening is vital in monitoring your animal’s health. BVD freedom is important to the industry.

Q: What if I choose to get my herd tested at a later date?
A: That’s completely fine – but free testing is only available until August 2020. The support is available until this date to help you deal with the disease while the Gwaredu BVD programme is running. After that you will have to pay the full cost directly to comply with whatever requirements are in place.  

Q: Who is running Gwaredu BVD?
A: Gwaredu BVD is industry-led, by experts. Its run by Animal Health and Welfare Wales (AHWW) – established in 2017 to support the Welsh farming industry. AHWW is a collaboration between Coleg Sir Gar and the Royal Veterinary College to deliver the Gwaredu BVD scheme. 


If you would like some additional support with BVD screening– feel free to get in touch with our team, who are always on hand to support you. Without you, we cannot make change.