News & Advice

BVD testing calves – get it done early

Jul 30, 2019 | Biosecurity, Dairy, Dairy Animal Health & Welfare, Young Stock

Emma Franklin, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Matamata

Most of you will be aware of the BVD status of your herd, from Bulk Tank Monitoring but what about the young stock? How much do you know about them before they enter the milking herd? 
Every year we find BVD PI (persistently infected) cows in milking herds; these animals could have been identified they were still calves if they had been tested at a younger age. 
PI animals should be identified and removed, stopping the spread of BVD to the next generation of calves (by removing the BVD positive animals before mating starts). Save time and money by testing your young stock early. 

Calves can be tested for BVD at any age by taking a tissue punch or ear notch (like DNA sampling). Disbudding is one of the earliest procedures carried out on replacement calves, so this is the ideal time to also do a BVD test to find any PIs. Simply tick that you would like your calves tested for BVD when you book disbudding and our team will do the rest – it doesn’t get much easier than that!

Even if all your calves test negative, the good news is that this gives them a lifetime result – once a calf tests as PI negative, she is always PI negative.

If it doesn’t suit to do the ear notching at disbudding, for some reason, don’t worry – the test can be done at any stage (e.g. vaccination), just talk to your local vet and make a plan that works best for you.


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