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Bill Mellor manages a 120-acre mixed beef and sheep farm in Hazel Grove, Stockport. All his beef has been produced on the farm since 2002, when the herd closed after an outbreak of bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD).
Back then, a sudden onset of abortions prompted him to call his vet and together they set about ridding his farm of the disease – something they achieved in just 12 months.
The strategy was simple but rigorous – they tested and vaccinated all cattle, culled any BVD-positive animals and improved biosecurity, as well as putting an end to buying in any new cattle.
Today, not only is his farm BVD-free but Mellor is driving that vision as chair of BVDFree England, a voluntary industry-led scheme working to eliminate BVD in England by 2022.
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