Bold plans to eradicate BVD and sheep scab by 2031

The livestock industry has set out bold ambitions to eradicate sheep scab and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) by 2031, among other goals, following a Ruminant Health and Welfare (RH&W) workshop held on 29 June.

The workshop included over 70 leading farmers, vets, researchers and industry stakeholders from across the four nations of the UK. Attendees set the agenda in advance by singling out ‘actionable’ sheep and cattle diseases from a list of priorities identified in the RH&W grassroot survey results released in May.

RH&W chair Nigel Miller explained that by setting management, control and/or eradication targets for the year 2031, the workshop participants were aiming to create a new high-health environment across farms of the four nations before the next decade.

“We need this health platform to elevate animal welfare and play a part in securing export markets,” he explained.

“We are going into a period of extraordinary change; we have got to be willing to push back on the accepted boundaries of health and production. World class economic efficiency and the building pressures of low carbon production demand a higher national flock and herd health status; mapping out clear change targets is a vital step to secure that goal.”

Sheep scab, now endemic in the national flock and affecting 10-15% of farms with about 8,000 outbreaks each year costing up to £202 million, was one of the most popular topics selected for debate.

The group set out co-ordinated control, mandatory annual screening, flock traceability, and vaccination for sheep scab as key objectives on the way to eradication. Dr Stewart Burgess at Moredun Research Institute said a new vaccine would help in the long term, but interim goals like notifiable or reportable status would create a traceable, sustainable framework.

“The reality is that there are imminent threats and the status quo is not working,” said Dr Burgess. “Modelling studies have shown that focussing control on disease hotspots not only makes gains in those targeted areas, but can also have a significant impact on sheep nationwide.”

The sheep scab ELISA blood test was a real game changer, according to Dr Burgess. “It can detect scab in the first two weeks of infestation and before clinical signs – a new version is in development and would offer on-farm results in under 20 minutes at a cost of under £5.”

A future vaccine was also under development at Moredun. “In its current form it has up to 80% efficacy and will offer sustainable control of scab.”

Kate Hovers, vet and consultant at Wales Veterinary Science Centre, added that disease control schemes and health certification for scab offered benefits throughout the sector – both in controlling disease and offering a premium for certified stock. “But it’s also important to preserve the use of macrocyclic lactones and organophosphates for sheep scab control – we need to know there’s an effective treatment available, and we already have scab mites resistant to the macrocyclic lactones present in the UK flock.”

BVD eradication, another priority for the group, is already in progress through different statutory and voluntary efforts in each of the four nations. But introducing mandatory control will be the next step with co-ordinated messaging and approaches.

Sam Strain, chief executive at Animal Health and Welfare Northern Ireland (AHWNI), was heavily involved in establishing NI’s compulsory BVD programme, and strongly advised that legislation was critical for eradication.

“We live in an archipelago where animals are often traveling across borders,” he said. “Any control programme needs to have co-ordinated messages between the four nations – being cognisant of international requirements such as the EU Animal Health Law.”

Re-engagement was high on the list of interim goals. “It’s clear that different sectors have their own priorities and timeframes for BVD control which has led to the diversity of UK schemes,” explained Dr Strain. “Co-ordination between the schemes is crucial to controlling this infection across the UK.

“A key challenge is the retention of persistently infected (PI) calves; industry initiatives like making the retention of BVD positive animals a non-conformity for the NI beef and lamb farm quality assurance scheme have made significant contributions to the NI programme, encouraging the timely removal of these animals from the population.”

Another ambition from the workshop was to reduce dairy cow lameness by 30% year-on-year. Steps to achieve this goal include better utilisation of current tools and policy, with a whole food chain approach, consideration of contextual factors on farm, and the collection and use of robust and consistent data.

Martin Green, professor of cattle health and epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, said that lack of data had been identified as an obstacle by the AHDB mobility steering group.

“Data is needed to better understand the scale of lameness and what is achievable in terms of targets and sustainability year-on-year,” he said. “Mobility scoring is extremely valuable and encouraging widespread uptake with support and mentoring from the industry will be key in meeting industry targets.”

The post Bold plans to eradicate BVD and sheep scab by 2031 appeared first on Ruminant Health & Welfare.

Continue reading...
 

Melly

New Member
The livestock industry has set out bold ambitions to eradicate sheep scab and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) by 2031, among other goals, following a Ruminant Health and Welfare (RH&W) workshop held on 29 June.

The workshop included over 70 leading farmers, vets, researchers and industry stakeholders from across the four nations of the UK. Attendees set the agenda in advance by singling out ‘actionable’ sheep and cattle diseases from a list of priorities identified in the RH&W grassroot survey results released in May.

RH&W chair Nigel Miller explained that by setting management, control and/or eradication targets for the year 2031, the workshop participants were aiming to create a new high-health environment across farms of the four nations before the next decade.

“We need this health platform to elevate animal welfare and play a part in securing export markets,” he explained.

“We are going into a period of extraordinary change; we have got to be willing to push back on the accepted boundaries of health and production. World class economic efficiency and the building pressures of low carbon production demand a higher national flock and herd health status; mapping out clear change targets is a vital step to secure that goal.”

Sheep scab, now endemic in the national flock and affecting 10-15% of farms with about 8,000 outbreaks each year costing up to £202 million, was one of the most popular topics selected for debate.

The group set out co-ordinated control, mandatory annual screening, flock traceability, and vaccination for sheep scab as key objectives on the way to eradication. Dr Stewart Burgess at Moredun Research Institute said a new vaccine would help in the long term, but interim goals like notifiable or reportable status would create a traceable, sustainable framework.

“The reality is that there are imminent threats and the status quo is not working,” said Dr Burgess. “Modelling studies have shown that focussing control on disease hotspots not only makes gains in those targeted areas, but can also have a significant impact on sheep nationwide.”

The sheep scab ELISA blood test was a real game changer, according to Dr Burgess. “It can detect scab in the first two weeks of infestation and before clinical signs – a new version is in development and would offer on-farm results in under 20 minutes at a cost of under £5.”

A future vaccine was also under development at Moredun. “In its current form it has up to 80% efficacy and will offer sustainable control of scab.”

Kate Hovers, vet and consultant at Wales Veterinary Science Centre, added that disease control schemes and health certification for scab offered benefits throughout the sector – both in controlling disease and offering a premium for certified stock. “But it’s also important to preserve the use of macrocyclic lactones and organophosphates for sheep scab control – we need to know there’s an effective treatment available, and we already have scab mites resistant to the macrocyclic lactones present in the UK flock.”

BVD eradication, another priority for the group, is already in progress through different statutory and voluntary efforts in each of the four nations. But introducing mandatory control will be the next step with co-ordinated messaging and approaches.

Sam Strain, chief executive at Animal Health and Welfare Northern Ireland (AHWNI), was heavily involved in establishing NI’s compulsory BVD programme, and strongly advised that legislation was critical for eradication.

“We live in an archipelago where animals are often traveling across borders,” he said. “Any control programme needs to have co-ordinated messages between the four nations – being cognisant of international requirements such as the EU Animal Health Law.”

Re-engagement was high on the list of interim goals. “It’s clear that different sectors have their own priorities and timeframes for BVD control which has led to the diversity of UK schemes,” explained Dr Strain. “Co-ordination between the schemes is crucial to controlling this infection across the UK.

“A key challenge is the retention of persistently infected (PI) calves; industry initiatives like making the retention of BVD positive animals a non-conformity for the NI beef and lamb farm quality assurance scheme have made significant contributions to the NI programme, encouraging the timely removal of these animals from the population.”

Another ambition from the workshop was to reduce dairy cow lameness by 30% year-on-year. Steps to achieve this goal include better utilisation of current tools and policy, with a whole food chain approach, consideration of contextual factors on farm, and the collection and use of robust and consistent data.

Martin Green, professor of cattle health and epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, said that lack of data had been identified as an obstacle by the AHDB mobility steering group.

“Data is needed to better understand the scale of lameness and what is achievable in terms of targets and sustainability year-on-year,” he said. “Mobility scoring is extremely valuable and encouraging widespread uptake with support and mentoring from the industry will be key in meeting industry targets.”

The post Bold plans to eradicate BVD and sheep scab by 2031 appeared first on Ruminant Health & Welfare.

Continue reading...
 

xmilkr

Member
Sorry but ten years to rid the UK of BVD???? WHAT age are these guys living in, we got rid of Bruccolosis in less than three years over forty years ago by telling the cattle industry there will be no cattle sold without a clear blood test in two years time, that worked forty years ago why not now?
Many parts of the UK cattle industry have been in groups to rid the country of BVD, these groups cattle are now at risk from people who do not have the guts to rid themselves of BVD, l am here shouting because nearly twenty years ago a farmer five miles away had some steers escape because he would not repair his fences, they ran in all directions, eight broke into my farm, while we were in the milking pit, we knew nothing until they came and told us they had caught the cattle and put them in our paddock next to the dairy housing, but assured us non had come into contact with ours, ours was a 150 ped, unvaccinated, BVD free herd, BVD milk tested monthly a closed herd for over twenty years with F+ M security, within days we had sick cows, within weeks we had animals aborting and dying, within four years we lost over four hundred head of our dairy herd, that was the end for us.
We eventually found the truth, they never caught the steers, someone found them coming out of our yard and turned them back the owners them walked them through our feed passage infecting our cows on the way, we never saw these as we were in the milking pit, 34. 18 month old animals escaped, two were shot in the first hour of escaping one was left to find its way home this was later shot, within days of the rest going home a twenty nine month old steer that had been on our farm was sent into the local store market.
These idiots will still be there in 2031 for every ones sake get started in 2022 help the cattle industry by giving three years to get a BVD. free cattle industry.
 

Levelsman

Member
The livestock industry has set out bold ambitions to eradicate sheep scab and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) by 2031, among other goals, following a Ruminant Health and Welfare (RH&W) workshop held on 29 June.

The workshop included over 70 leading farmers, vets, researchers and industry stakeholders from across the four nations of the UK. Attendees set the agenda in advance by singling out ‘actionable’ sheep and cattle diseases from a list of priorities identified in the RH&W grassroot survey results released in May.

RH&W chair Nigel Miller explained that by setting management, control and/or eradication targets for the year 2031, the workshop participants were aiming to create a new high-health environment across farms of the four nations before the next decade.

“We need this health platform to elevate animal welfare and play a part in securing export markets,” he explained.

“We are going into a period of extraordinary change; we have got to be willing to push back on the accepted boundaries of health and production. World class economic efficiency and the building pressures of low carbon production demand a higher national flock and herd health status; mapping out clear change targets is a vital step to secure that goal.”

Sheep scab, now endemic in the national flock and affecting 10-15% of farms with about 8,000 outbreaks each year costing up to £202 million, was one of the most popular topics selected for debate.

The group set out co-ordinated control, mandatory annual screening, flock traceability, and vaccination for sheep scab as key objectives on the way to eradication. Dr Stewart Burgess at Moredun Research Institute said a new vaccine would help in the long term, but interim goals like notifiable or reportable status would create a traceable, sustainable framework.

“The reality is that there are imminent threats and the status quo is not working,” said Dr Burgess. “Modelling studies have shown that focussing control on disease hotspots not only makes gains in those targeted areas, but can also have a significant impact on sheep nationwide.”

The sheep scab ELISA blood test was a real game changer, according to Dr Burgess. “It can detect scab in the first two weeks of infestation and before clinical signs – a new version is in development and would offer on-farm results in under 20 minutes at a cost of under £5.”

A future vaccine was also under development at Moredun. “In its current form it has up to 80% efficacy and will offer sustainable control of scab.”

Kate Hovers, vet and consultant at Wales Veterinary Science Centre, added that disease control schemes and health certification for scab offered benefits throughout the sector – both in controlling disease and offering a premium for certified stock. “But it’s also important to preserve the use of macrocyclic lactones and organophosphates for sheep scab control – we need to know there’s an effective treatment available, and we already have scab mites resistant to the macrocyclic lactones present in the UK flock.”

BVD eradication, another priority for the group, is already in progress through different statutory and voluntary efforts in each of the four nations. But introducing mandatory control will be the next step with co-ordinated messaging and approaches.

Sam Strain, chief executive at Animal Health and Welfare Northern Ireland (AHWNI), was heavily involved in establishing NI’s compulsory BVD programme, and strongly advised that legislation was critical for eradication.

“We live in an archipelago where animals are often traveling across borders,” he said. “Any control programme needs to have co-ordinated messages between the four nations – being cognisant of international requirements such as the EU Animal Health Law.”

Re-engagement was high on the list of interim goals. “It’s clear that different sectors have their own priorities and timeframes for BVD control which has led to the diversity of UK schemes,” explained Dr Strain. “Co-ordination between the schemes is crucial to controlling this infection across the UK.

“A key challenge is the retention of persistently infected (PI) calves; industry initiatives like making the retention of BVD positive animals a non-conformity for the NI beef and lamb farm quality assurance scheme have made significant contributions to the NI programme, encouraging the timely removal of these animals from the population.”

Another ambition from the workshop was to reduce dairy cow lameness by 30% year-on-year. Steps to achieve this goal include better utilisation of current tools and policy, with a whole food chain approach, consideration of contextual factors on farm, and the collection and use of robust and consistent data.

Martin Green, professor of cattle health and epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, said that lack of data had been identified as an obstacle by the AHDB mobility steering group.

“Data is needed to better understand the scale of lameness and what is achievable in terms of targets and sustainability year-on-year,” he said. “Mobility scoring is extremely valuable and encouraging widespread uptake with support and mentoring from the industry will be key in meeting industry targets.”

The post Bold plans to eradicate BVD and sheep scab by 2031 appeared first on Ruminant Health & Welfare.

Continue reading...
Perhaps they would like to add TB to their list - or has that become a no-hoper?

ps Dipping will clear scab quicker than anything, or it used to!😣
 

ringi

Member
It would seem easy to legally require all new calfs to be tagged with a BVD testing tag when the farm does not have BVDfree status with a movement restriction on all farms that have a positive result until neg test on 100% of farm's livestock.

Combined with a movement restriction on all cows that may be pregnant if they are antibody possitive and the farm has had a BVD case within the last 10 months.

The "light touch regulations" would be to require the above for "Red Tractor" and basic farm payments with the basic farm payment being put on hold after a +ve BVD result until all PI culled.

(If the Irish can do it, why can't England?)
 
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As I understand it, BVD +ve dairy cows have to be put to a beef bull. Thanks for that. :scratchhead:
Until PIs are compulsorily slaughtered, we'll never get on top of BVD, and until Gov.uk get a grip on this infected badger population, ditto for zoonotic tuberculosis.

And don't assume that Europe is any better at clearing insidious disease from their cattle. A friend was encouraged to buy in calf heifers from Northern Germany to replace a de populated TB herd.
Within two years he'd lost the lot to Johnnes.

And don't get me started on vaccinating cattle for TB.

 

ringi

Member
BVD unlike Johnnes and TB has a simple well proven process for regional elimination. (Find and quickly remove all PI, repeat until done. False negatives are too common for both TB and Johnnes for such a system to give quick results.)

I understand it, BVD +ve dairy cows have to be put to a beef bull
This is standard with a Johnnes +ve cow while a dairy herd is in the process of controling Johnnes. I can't see why any herd would keep a known BVD PI. (Remember most {not all} Johnnes spread is from cow to calf and Johnnes does not become an issue until aged over about 3.)


And don't get me started on vaccinating cattle for TB.
Lots of work was being done in UK research labs on new TB tests that would enable vaccination of cattle. Nearly all these labs changed to Covid-19 research within weeks of the 1st cases in China. (One of my relatives surports/sells lab robots, they had two year when they did not have time to even return phone calls from customers not doing Covid-19 work.)

(There is no cattle TB vaccine that gives near 100% infection blocking.)
 
BVD unlike Johnnes and TB has a simple well proven process for regional elimination. (Find and quickly remove all PI, repeat until done. False negatives are too common for both TB and Johnnes for such a system to give quick results.)

Only in this country, apparently. All other countries use the same test for TB, and in the absence of a wildlife reservoir, has cleared the cattle.

This is standard with a Johnnes +ve cow while a dairy herd is in the process of controling Johnnes. I can't see why any herd would keep a known BVD PI. (Remember most {not all} Johnnes spread is from cow to calf and Johnnes does not become an issue until aged over about 3.)

But they do. And then sell offspring. Thus spreading the problem.

Lots of work was being done in UK research labs on new TB tests that would enable vaccination of cattle. Nearly all these labs changed to Covid-19 research within weeks of the 1st cases in China. (One of my relatives surports/sells lab robots, they had two year when they did not have time to even return phone calls from customers not doing Covid-19 work.)

BCG didn’t work 40 years ago in cattle, no subsequent torturing of it has proved successful, and the DIVA test has proved problematic. It’s a no. And would be an instant ban on our exports.
(There is no cattle TB vaccine that gives near 100% infection blocking.)
 

ringi

Member
Ireland is making little progress with TB, even in parts of the UK when TB has yet to move into the badger population TB is out of control and spreading north each year. One difference seems to be that counties other than the UK and Ireland tend to have many more closed herds and few herds that have contact over the fence line and it seems uncommon in most of Europe for cows to be transported to off-farm fields.

I am not convinced the spread of TB can be slowed in the UK without at least 6 monthly testing of all cattle, I don't think the government is willing to pay the political price of bringing 6 monthly TB testing to all of England. The government is clearly unwilling to pay the political price of culling 90% of the badgers in the southwest.

BCG didn’t work 40 years ago in cattle, no subsequent torturing of it has proved successful, and the DIVA test has proved problematic. It’s a no. And would be an instant ban on our exports.
That's why the research is looking at both a better vaccine and a TB test that can be used on vaccinated cattle.
There is also research looking at a vaccine for badgers and practical TB testing systems for badgers. I seen claims that vaccination of trapped badgers without test/culling of infected badgers would take 40 years to clear the badger population of TB.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

Farm-safety-640x360.png
The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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