BVD testing calves - get it done early

BVD testing calves - get it done early
By Emma Franklin, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Matamata

Most of you will be aware of the BVD status of your herd, from Bulk Tank Monitoring but what about the young stock? How much do you know about them before they enter the milking herd?

Every year we find BVD PI (persistently infected) cows in milking herds; many of these animals could have been identified as calves if they had been tested at a younger age.

PI animals can be identified and removed, stopping the spread of BVD to the next generation of calves (by removing the BVD positive animals before mating starts). Save time and money by testing your young stock early.

Calves can be tested for BVD by taking a tissue punch or ear notch (similar to DNA sampling). Disbudding is one of the earliest procedures carried out on replacement calves, so this is the ideal time to also do a BVD test to find any PIs. Even if they all test negative, the good news is that this gives them a lifetime result - once a calf tests as PI negative, she is always PI negative.

If it doesn’t suit to do the ear notching at disbudding, for some reason, don’t worry – the test can be done at any stage (e.g. vaccination), just talk to your local vet and make a plan that works best for you.

Date Added: Tuesday, 30th July 2019