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Covid-19: Will BVD testing continue?

The BVD Implementation Group has this evening (Friday, March 20th) released a statement in relation to the delivery of the national BVD eradication programme in light of the current and developing situation in relation to coronavirus.

In the statement, Dr. David Graham, chairman of the BVD implementation group, outline that the first priority is to protect human health through adhering to the HSE guidelines which are regularly updated here.

“Currently there are no delays in the testing carried out by designated laboratories, although it is expected that turnaround times may increase in the weeks ahead.”

To minimise the impact of any delays on normal farming practices, and to ensure continued progress toward eradication, farmers are being advised to continue to collect and submit samples as soon as possible after birth.

He noted that farming organisations have put in place mechanisms to assist with both collection of samples for posting and registration of calves should this be required, for example due to self-isolation or quarantine.

Calves with positive test results 

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“The likelihood of calves testing positive for BVD is very low, but where there is a delay in receiving results, calves should be isolated with emphasis on avoiding contact with pregnant females – either directly or through shared equipment, or movement of people without adequate precautions.”

Where positive calves are detected, your veterinary practitioner is able to advise on the merits of immediate disposal rather than re-testing, he advised.

“Where re-testing is being carried out, ensure these calves are isolated, again with emphasis on direct or indirect contact with pregnant females, until further results are received and the animal removed promptly, if confirmed to be persistently infected.”

“Further updates will be issued as the situation develops.” the statement concluded.

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