BVD is a common but devastating viral infection of cattle in New Zealand, explains Dr Amanda Kilby.
The herd improvement company has announced an exclusive arrangement with Disease Research Ltd, part of the University of Otago. From June 2017, New Zealand farmers will get their normal herd test information on Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) and Johne’s Disease (JD) but are now able to directly take that a step further with Disease Research Limited.
Says CRV Ambreed managing director Angus Haslett says currently, its herd testing provides New Zealand farmers with an initial positive or negative result for these diseases through an ‘alert’ service – it tells the farmer they may have an issue and need to investigate further.
Now, the extended service offered by Disease Research Ltd provides farmers with the option of follow-up testing of individual cows, ensuring properly informed management and control.
Haslett says dairy farmers will be able to access this extended service and information by herd testing through CRV Ambreed. The service now offers an initial status at herd level, through to individual cow testing at Disease Research Ltd. “We are very pleased to be collaborating with specialists Disease Research Ltd to offer this extended service to farmers.”
Disease Research Ltd is the southern hemisphere’s only USDA-accredited laboratory with the ability to handle milk and serum samples.
BVD is considered serious and widespread in New Zealand dairy and beef herds, with DairyNZ estimating annual losses for dairy farmers of about $127 million. Johne’s Disease is an infection caused by bacteria that can affect all ruminants; it’s thought to cost the country between $40 million and $88 million in lost production each year.
Haslett says tackling these diseases is an opportunity for dairy farmers around the world. “Here in New Zealand it is important for us as a company to help farmers manage animal health issues and this ties in well with our philosophy of ‘better cows, better life’.”
CRV Ambreed staff will be available at the national Fieldays in June to talk with farmers about the new collaboration, or farmers can phone 0800 262 733 for more information.