Evaluating BVD control in Norfolk and Suffolk


Further information can be found on the RVC website.

Beef & Lamb
Project code:
01 October 2006 - 01 September 2008
AHDB Beef & Lamb
Project leader:
Prof Joe Brownlie, RVC

About this project

The Problem:

Bovine virus diarrhoea virus (BVDV) infections cause large annual economic losses and welfare issues for the European cattle industry.  Gunn et al. (2004) estimated a mean loss from a BVD outbreak in beef herds of £37 per suckler cow per year.

There are two main options for disease control – zoo-sanitary control (surveillance and monitoring) and control through vaccination. The first option has proven successful in some Scandinavian countries; the latter need further development to be efficient.  This pilot programme will demonstrate the feasibility of a national control programme for BVD.


Project Aims:

  1. To test and develop BVD control principles in a dairy context
  2. To prove the concept and benefits to farmers and vets
  3. To establish a secure platform for rolling out an English national BVD control campaign



Beef and dairy herds will be initially screened by analysis of blood samples and bulk milk samples. Following testing on participating farms the next step is to develop individual programmes that suit their needs. Meetings will be held between the vets and farmers involved to create a partnership, and to decide on the most appropriate path for control, as it may vary between farms.

Some herds may achieve full eradication without vaccination enabling them to become fully accredited BVD free under CheCS rules but others will not. The Royal Veterinary College will be collecting production data before and after eliminating the virus to help build up a picture that will encourage other farmers in the country to join schemes.


Deliverables :

Information will be generated on the incidence and impact of BVD in East Anglia, which can be used to understand in a national BVD control campaign is possible.

A poster of the results will be produced for the Dairy Event 2008.