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BVD testing to become mandatory in Wales
In addition to improving herd health, the measures are expected to reduce the carbon footprint of herds.
New rules will be in force from 1 July 2024.

Annual testing for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) is set to become mandatory in Wales as part of efforts to eradicate the disease in the country.

From 1 July 2024, keepers will be required to screen their heard annually for BVD by testing a small number of cattle. They will have until 1 July 2025 to complete their first annual test.

It will also be a legal requirement for keepers to isolate persistently infected animals from the rest of the herd for the remainder of the animals’ lives.

The rules have been introduced by the Welsh government with the eventual aim of eradicating the disease. Representatives from the cattle industry, with assistance from the Welsh government, will set up a Wales BVD governance body to support BVD eradication efforts.

As well as improving animal health, eradicating BVD from a typical Welsh herd of 40 cattle could also reduce the carbon footprint by around 70,200kg CO2e each year, according to the Welsh government.

From 2017 until 2022, free testing was available in Wales as part of the Gwaredu BVD screening programme. The scheme was funded by the Welsh government and managed in partnership by the Royal Veterinary College and Coleg Sir Gâr’s Agriculture Research Centre.

The scheme tested 85 per cent of cattle farms in Wales. While 27 per cent of farms had positive BVD results in 2018, this had reduced to 23 per cent by 2022.

Richard Irvine, chief veterinary officer for Wales, said: “The benefits of being BVD-free include increased cattle health, welfare, productivity and fertility. Eliminating BVD can reduce costs and the carbon footprint of your herd. Maintaining a BVD-free status strengthens the health and welfare of our cattle farms in Wales, and can also help reduce antibiotic usage.”

“Embarking on this next phase of the BVD eradication programme in Wales is a really important step. I would like to recognise the industry-led approach, backed up by this new BVD legislation.

"We can achieve eradication through the ongoing efforts of all cattle farmers, working closely with their vets, to screen and protect their herds from BVD.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.