The Coldicott Veterinary Clinic Logo
55 Barton Street, Tewkesbury, Glos. GL20 5PX   .   01684 292177 (24hr)   .

Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)

BVD is a highly contagious viral disease in cattle.  It is one of the biggest disease issues in UK cattle, estimated to cost £61m per year nationally.

BVD causes infertility, abortion, poor production (growth rates, milk yields) and diarrhoea. It is immunosuppressive and so can easily lead to secondary bacterial infections and death. The virus is spread via direct contact or contaminated equipment.  Prevention is possible using BVD vaccines, but will not eradicate BVD in an infected herd.

Persistently Infected animals (PIs)

PIs are created when the dam is infected in the first trimester of pregnancy. The calf is then infected with BVD before its immune system has developed to recognise foreign material and so it recognises the BVD as ‘self’.

The PI sheds the virus into the environment, spreading the disease through the herd.  They often present with diarrhoea and wasting, often only living up to 24 months.  If bred from, a PI will always produce another PI.

BVD Free England Scheme

The scheme is an industry led scheme launched in July 2016 aimed at eliminating BVD by identifying infected individuals and removing PIs, with the plan to eradicate BVD by 2022. It is a voluntary scheme, but hopes are that government involvement will lead to compulsory measures to achieve the target.

It is being done in conjunction with similar schemes in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to eradicate BVD from Great Britain.  In Scandinavia, they have already implemented such schemes and achieved BVD free status.

By joining the scheme you agree to:

·         Actively engage in BVD control

·         Report all BVD testing results

·         Allow statuses to be openly accessible via the national database

·         Not to move persistently infected (PIs) animals other than to slaughter

BVD control

Assess – level of biosecurity and disease risk on farm

Define –BVD status of the herd

Action – control plan on farm

Monitor – with annual status checks

The amount and type of testing required to achieve BVD herd status depends on the type of herd. Blood or milk samples are tested for antigen/virus to assess individual status, or antibody for herd status.


If you would like to join the scheme, please contact us and we will go through step by step how to achieve BVD free status for your herd. (Please note that only certain labs are accredited for the scheme so please make sure we are aware before any testing)