First place win for Wales in European BVDZero Awards 2020

10th Jun 2020

The 2020 BVDZero Award winners were announced last week, with a local vet from Carmarthen taking first prize. Magda Sioukiouroglou, veterinary assistant from ProStock Vets in South Wales took a stake of the €15,000 (£13,400) prize fund, awarded by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Based not too far from our office in Carmarthen, the Gwaredu BVD team have worked closely with ProStock Vets throughout our eradication initiative and are delighted they were able to secure top-spot in the Awards.

The competition is open to anyone in Europe involved in the cattle industry, with the top ten entries all eligible to receive part of the winnings. Entries were to include a detailed case study of how they are personally working towards eradicating BVD, showing examples of good practice and the results.

Magda’s entry, titled “The Hidden Risks of the Showring” demonstrated the dedication of both the vet and farmer to identify the positive animal within the herd.

Magda visited a dairy farm in South Wales to conduct the annual BVD screening. The results of the screening showed one positive reading, which caused some confusion around its origin as the farm had a continuous free-status reputation from previous years.  

Magda and her team carried out further investigation on both the farm activities and animal movements to determine where the positive result may have come from.

Results showed the positive animal had been to three cattle shows, for a total three-month duration. This consequently meant that the animal became infected with BVD whilst away from the farm and eventually, could transfer it back into the free herd.

Magda’s case study impressed the BVDZero panel of judges and meant ProStock Vets claimed the top-spot in the European awards.

Boehringer Ingelheim set up the BVDZero awards to reflect their long-term commitment on the health and wellbeing of farm animals. The awards aim to increase awareness on the disease and the impact it has on the industry, whilst recognising individuals who are contributing to its eradication across Europe.

Gwaredu BVD support the initiative of Boehringer Ingelheim, and for the past two years have worked closely with vets and farmers to communicate the importance of eradicating this disease throughout cattle herds in Wales.

We are a dedicated team working closely with our UK nations and the Welsh Government to ensure Wales will eventualy become BVD-free. Our project started in 2018 and already we have tested over 8,300 herds. Whilst many vets and farmers have worked seamlessly together by testing their herds regularly, there is still some work to do for the remainder of 2020. We look forward to continuing our efforts over the coming months and working closely with all partners to eradicate as much of this disease as possible.

The Gwaredu BVD team would like to congratulate Magda and ProStock Vets for their hard work and first-place prize. We are proud Wales has been recognised as a leader in eradication of BVD and we look forward to sharing more success stories in future.  

You can read Madga's detailed case study on the BVDZero website.  Magda has also been featured by the Vet Times- congratulations again, Magda!