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Indications of a relationship between buying-in policy and infectious diseases on dairy farms in Wales
  1. H. Bishop, BVetMed, MRCVS,
  2. J. Erkelens, DVM, BA, MRCVS and
  3. S. Van Winden, DVM, MSc, PhD, FHEA, DipECBHM, MRCVS
  1. Welsh Regional Veterinary Centre, Royal Veterinary College, Gelli Aur College Farm, Carmarthen SA32 8NJ
  1. E-mail for correspondence hbishop{at}

During the period February to May 2008, bulk milk samples were collected from 57 dairy farms throughout Wales in the framework of a voluntary somatic cell count project. Bulk milk samples were tested for antibodies to bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV), bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) and Leptospira Hardjo, and samples were also tested for the presence of BVDV antigen by PCR. A questionnaire was used to determine whether the herd was open or closed, what the vaccination status was, and to obtain general farm information such as the herd size and average milk yield. Vaccination against BVD, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis and leptospirosis was practised on 37, 12 and 35 per cent of the farms, respectively. The presence of bulk milk antibodies on farms that did not use vaccination was 75 per cent for BVDV, 54 per cent for BHV-2 and 76 per cent for L Hardjo. Open herds had 10 times the odds (95 per cent confidence interval [CI] 1.7 to 59.4)of having bulk milk antibodies for BVDV and 16.7 times the odds (95 per cent CI 2.0 to 49.7) of having bulk milk antibodies to BHV-1 compared with closed herds. A farm with bulk milk antibodies to one disease had significantly higher odds of having bulk milk antibodies to a second disease (P<0.05).

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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