Welsh vet scoops international BVDZero award
A vet from south Wales has won an international BVDZero award, which aims to raise awareness of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) and its control.
Magda Sioukiouroglou from Prostock Vets, Carmarthen, took first prize and also won a share of the 15,000 euros prize fund for her submission, which focused on a closed dairy farm with BVD-free status.
The farm is a member of the national BVD eradication scheme, backed by the Welsh government. Under the scheme, young stock from each management group are screened for BVD antibodies annually, at the same time as routine TB testing.
A positive result would usually suggest contact with a persistently infected animal in the herd. But, following an unexpected positive result, the farm became eligible for funding to identify possible persistently infected animals. However, all adult animals were negative.
Using the British Cattle Movement Service, Magda was able to identify that the positive animal had been to cattle shows, where it is likely to have become infected.
Commenting on her submission, Magda stressed that her work underlines the importance of a robust herd health plan:
“Biosecurity is a big concern, and it’s important that measures are put in place to protect herd health,” she said. “We recommended that the farmer vaccinates any animals he wants to take to shows in the future and to keep them in quarantine for at least four weeks before introducing them back to the herd.
“Additionally, we will keep monitoring for BVD annually by screening youngstock and bulk milk samples for BVD virus and tag and test calves.”
The BVDZero Awards is an international competition open to anyone working within the cattle industry submitting a case involving BVD.
“The health impacts for our national herd and the financial implications for our industry in Wales as a consequence of BVD can be devastating, and I am proud of the partnership work between Industry and Government that the Gwaredu BVD scheme provides for,” commented Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales.
“The eradication of BVD across Wales is an achievable goal, thanks to our veterinary practices and practitioners such as yourself, engaging with the scheme and delivering it to farmers in order to improve cattle health across Wales”.