The strategies used and the results obtained in Orkney's bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) eradication programme over eight years (2001 to 2008) are presented and discussed. The venture was undertaken by local veterinary practices and the Orkney Livestock Association (OLA) with the financial support of the Orkney Islands Council. Participation is voluntary; the programme comprises screening of youngstock, a whole-herd test if required, elimination of persistently infected animals and strict biosecurity measures and/or vaccination. BVDV-free herds are certified, and certification is updated annually by retesting the youngstock. The programme aims to minimise economic losses, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the Orcadian cattle industry and to improve animal health and welfare by eliminating virus circulation. Information from databases of the Scottish Agricultural College, Biobest Laboratories and OLA show that despite a significant reduction in the overall prevalence of BVDV on Orkney during the initial stages of the eradication programme, there has been little progress made since 2006 and that some difficulties have been encountered, with herd BVDV breakdowns following initial eradication. These results highlight the need for continued motivation of farmers, strict application of biosecurity measures and/or systematic vaccination of all seronegative breeding animals.
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