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BVD and what it means to dairy farmers

Dairy Vets

BVD and what it means to dairy farmers

Bovine viral diarrhoea occurs throughout NZ and the impact is a huge costs: studies show approx.. $140/cow/year for an infected herd. The biggest cost to farmers relates to early pregnancy losses.

This occurs when a naïve animal is exposed to the virus before 40 days of pregnancy. This can have detrimental effects to seasonal herds that have very tight mating periods.

Sources of infection, especially the first time, are likely due to the introduction of foreign stock namely animals that are bought in, moved from off-farm areas, or those that calve that where bred off-farm. Boundary/ over the fence contact can also transmit the virus.

The next problematic cost of BVD to herds is the creation of a persistently infected animal (PI). This occurs when a cow is exposed during day 18-125 of pregnancy. PI calves were always thought to be those that are unthrifty, stunted, or poor doers but some of them can be healthy just like their pen mates. PI’s consistently shed huge amounts of virus and are the biggest source of infection to all animals on the farm.

Infection in later pregnancy can cause abortions and foetal deformities.

Luckily, we have some easy and accurate testing options available to us: to find PI animals and give information on the history of BVD in your herd. The BVD steering committee have a clear 4 -step control process:

  1. Define if BVD is in the herd

BVD diagnostic tests are highly accurate. A simple bulk milk screening test to look for antibodies against the virus is a good place to start.

  1. Assess the level of risk of BVD coming onto the farm

In
Cattle coming on to the farm, including their foetuses.
People, equipment and vehicles coming on to the farm.

Out
Heifers and carry-over cows grazing off-farm, including heifers returning pregnant.

Contact
Avoid cattle contact across neighbouring fences.

  1. Action a control plan to mitigate these risks
    • Test incoming animals (including bulls and calves born onto the property) for the virus and cull any PI animals identified.
      • Test bulls with previous ‘BVD clear’ results as they could be transiently infected (TI) and need to be quarantined until they have recovered.
      • Vaccinated animals should still be tested to confirm they are not PI.
    • Vaccinate cows and heifers to protect them during their pregnancy, and vaccinate bulls used for mating.
    • Change management practices to reduce the risk of exposure, e.g. outriggers on boundary fences.
  1. Monitor to make sure it is working

Regular monitoring will ensure your plan is working. As your vets we can help you develop a monitoring plan and an action plan in the case of suspected infection.

Referenced from: DairyNZ; https://www.dairynz.co.nz/animal/cow-health/bvd-virus/

Dairy Vets Team

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    Anna Tarver

    BVSc (Hons) MANZCVS (Dairy Medicine)

    E: anna@dairyvets.co.nz

    Brought up on her families pedigree Holstein herd and after studying an Animal Health degree at Harper Adams Agricultural College, Anna moved to Sydney to study her Vet degree. After graduating in 2006 she then worked in mixed practice in NSW before working in England in dairy practice before the move to NZ in 2010.

    Anna undertook and passed a membership in dairy cattle medicine in 2013: this is recognition of advanced level knowledge and experience in this topic. Outside of work her three children, horses, dogs and Suffolk sheep stud keep her busy!

    Professional interests include reproduction, mastitis and infectious disease, particularly BVD. Anna has a keen interest in data analysis and identifying areas where gains can be made in reproduction and animal health.  Accredited BCS scorer.

    Nathan Back

    BVSc (Hons) BAgrSc

    E: nathan@dairyvets.co.nz

    Nathan completed an Agriculture degree before spending two years working in the USA on feedlot dairies and a dairy farm in NZ before heading back to University to study Veterinary Science. After graduating he worked in dairy practice in the UK before settling in NZ.

    Passionate about all aspects of dairy farming he ran a calf rearing business in the UK and then started rearing dairy heifers and carrying over dairy cows in NZ. Nathan enjoys spending time on the mini farm while away from work, his cow passion continues with his Speckle Park stud.

    His professional interests include calf rearing, nutrition and farm economics. Accredited BCS scorer.

    Angharad Wellwood

    BVSc MRCVS

    E: angharad@dairyvets.co.nz

    Angharad (Harry) joined the practice in December 2020 after graduating from the University of Liverpool. She has always had a keen interest in NZ dairy farming and grew up with kiwi cross cows on her parents block calving dairy farm in Leicestershire. Professionally Harry has interests in young-stock management and reproduction but mostly just enjoys all aspects of being out on farm. 

     

    Outside of work she spends her time swimming and hiking and is very much looking forward to taking advantage of all the beautiful scenery NZ has to offer. When she has the time she also plays the saxophone and piano and enjoys going road cycling as long as the weather cooperates! 

     

     

    Phil Stoakes

    Phil Stoakes

    BVSc MRCVS

    E: phil@dairyvets.co.nz

    ​Phil has worked with Dairy Vets for since 2017, before that working locally as a dairy vet for three years. He has made NZ his home after being brought up on his family farm in Oxfordshire and working in farm animal vet practice in Wiltshire, UK. Professionally he has a passion for cow lameness and surgery. Outside of work he is an adrenaline sports enthusiast and enjoys skiing and trail riding to name a few!

    Accredited BCS scorer. Accredited Health hoof advisor. In the process to become an accredited Fonterra milk quality assessor.

    James Postlethwaite

    James Postlethwaite

    BVSc MRCVS

    ​E: james@dairyvets.co.nz

    James joined us as a locum in 2017 having worked as a farm animal vet in Scotland. It didn’t take him long to realise NZ had much better weather than Scotland and became a permanent member of the team! James enjoying taking himself on exciting adventures all over the south island when he’s not working. He enjoying tramping, mountain bike riding and crossfit. 

    Professionally James has a interests in surgery and mastitis. Accredited BCS scorer. In process to become an accredited Fonterra milk quality assessor.

    Polly Peck - Dairy Vets

    Polly Flack

    Technician

    Polly joined our technician team in 2020. Originally from the North Island she bring a lot of dairy experience having working on dairy and research farms as well as more recently being involved with the M.Bovis response on their sampling team.

    Accredited Dairy NZ condition scorer. 

    Sherree Bowles

    Technician Team Leader

    Sherree has been part of the team since 2017, bringing with her a wealth of experience; having worked locally as a full time dairy technician for 15 years. She is team leader for our technician team and loves getting out on farm and getting stuck in!

     Outside of work she enjoys multi-sport events, mountain biking and the outdoors. 

    Accredited Dairy NZ condition scorer.

    Abbie Mcleod

    Technician

    Abbie joined us as a full time technician in July 2019 after doing a couple months as a casual on the teat seal team. She is originally from South Otago and was brought up on dairy farms.

    Outside of work Abbie enjoys competitive horse endurance and competitive trail riding where she has won national awards on her horse Sparky. Also enjoys anything outdoors from mountain biking to hunting. 

    Accredited Dairy NZ condition scorer

    Nicky Williams

    Office Manager

    Nicky has been with us since we first started having a manned office. She is our office manager and keeps all the team and the office organised! As well as reception duties she is kept busy with stock control and managing accounts

    Nicky enjoys fishing and boating and family time outside of work

    Jo Dellow

    Office Administration

    Jo joined Nicky in 2019 to help with our calving season; we then realised we couldn’t manage without her and she became a permanent team member! She is the always happy voice at the other end of the phone!

    When not at work she enjoys spending time on her lifestyle block or heading away in the Motorhome with her husband and their dog Wolfie.

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      FARM HEALTH CARE PLANS

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        Daniel Goldstein

        BM BVSc (Hons) MRCVS

        E: daniel@dairyvets.co.nz

        Dan is originally from Sydney, where he graduated from University of Sydney in 2017. He spent his first 2 years in practice working in Yorkshire Dales in the UK. He has always had a passion for dairy work and in 2020 made the move to New Zealand to join the team at Dairy Vets. Professional interests include bovine surgery and lameness.

        Sally Mavor

        Office Administration

        Sally joined the team in January ’21 with our second clinic opening in Rakaia. She brings with her a wealth of experience having been dairy farming since 1995.  Outside of work she enjoys the outdoors, spending time helping on the run-off with the young stock, catching up with family, walking and gardening.

        She looks forward to seeing you at both offices, splitting her week between Ashburton and Rakaia.

         

        Megan Greene

        Technician

         

        Megan joined our technician team in 2021 . She has worked previously as a technician for 2 years in a mixed practice and has also worked on dairy farm calf rearing .

        Megan grew up on a family farm and is now living on a sheep and beef farm.  Outside of work she enjoys playing netball, tennis and getting outdoors.

        Emily Oram

        Technician

         Emily joined our team as a technician in 2021. She completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology in 2020 and has spent the last year working as a technician in a mixed practice. She has also completed her AB Technician certificate and has worked as an AB technician for the last 4 years.

         

        Outside of work she enjoys showjumping, schooling young horses and hunting.

         

        Accredited Dairy NZ condition scorer

        Anita Renes

        BVSc MRCVS

        E: anita@dairyvets.co.nz

        Anita started at Dairy Vets in March 2021.  She grew up in South Canterbury and has previously practiced as a large animal vet in the North Island and as a locum in Mid Canterbury.  Anita and her husband have been contract milking on a dairy farm at Dorie since 2012.  Outside of work she is kept busy with 3 children, the farm business, various community roles and a bit of hiking, biking and netball.

        She has particular interests professionally in milk quality, calf rearing, trace elements and lameness. Accredited Healthy Hoof provider.

         

        Will McLean

        BVSc

        E: will@dairyvets.co.nz

        Originally from a relatively small (by Mid Canterbury standards!) dairy farm in Aberdeenshire, Will graduated from Glasgow University in 2019 and worked in mixed practice in Scotland for 18 months. He then decided to come to Ashburton to gain experience where’s there’s an abundance of cows and learn about New Zealand farming systems.  Accredited Dairy NZ Body Condition Scorer.

         

        Outside of work Will is a long suffering Scotland rugby fan and is keen to bag as many huts as he can out tramping on the South Island.