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A mandatory programme of screening for bovine viral diarrhoea has recently begun in Scotland as part of efforts to eradicate the disease from the national cattle herd. In support of the programme, new guidance and training has been launched for the private veterinary surgeons involved, as Sheila Voas, acting Chief Veterinary Officer in Scotland, explains
FARMERS, vets, scientists and government have been working together on creating a national bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) eradication plan for Scotland since 2009. The Scottish BVD eradication scheme really is a partnership project and no one organisation or set of interests is in charge. The scheme we have collectively developed is in four stages: a voluntary phase with subsidised screening; mandatory annual screening; control measures; and biosecurity requirements for remaining infected herds. Since December 1, 2011, we have been in the second stage, and by February 1, 2013, every breeding cattle herd in Scotland must have been screened for BVD.
The latest milestone in Scotland's efforts to eradicate BVD came at the end of last month, when we published a guidance booklet for vets, and launched an online training module, both to support mandatory annual screening. We have also published a booklet for farmers, with information appropriate to their needs, which has been sent to over 14,000 cattle keepers in Scotland.
The guidance booklet for vets was developed by Peter Nettleton, a former veterinary virologist at the Moredun Institute who has over 30 years of experience with BVD. I am delighted that the BVA and British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) were both happy to approve the guidance and put their names on the front cover, and I hope that, as a result, vets will feel they can have confidence in the advice inside.
The training takes the form of an online module, which was developed …