The Colorado Voluntary BVD Control Program continues to set the standard in statewide coordinated efforts to find and eliminate cattle persistently infected (PI) with the bovine virus diarrhea virus (BVD). But, BVD control does not stop at finding and eliminating PI animals from the cow herd.

"The key to controlling BVD lies in the elimination of the PI animals," says James A. Kennedy, DVM, MS. "But, once this is accomplished a good biosecurity program will remove the worry of the financial and health impact BVD may have on your cowherd."

Kennedy is the Colorado State BVD coordinator and operates out of the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Rocky Ford, CO. Now, well into the programs second full year, Kennedy and his staff have improved testing techniques and have provided national leadership in making BVD-PI testing more practical and affordable for the U.S. cow-calf industry.

The Colorado Voluntary BVD Control Program a coordinated effort between the producer, veterinarian, the Colorado State University diagnostic lab, Colorado Department of Ag and vaccine producers.

Below are listed four components of a BVD bio-security program. Kennedy says each component may be expanded to define the limit of the producers concern. Also, any program must be under constant review and be adaptable to current environmental and market situations. He adds that the biosecurity components are basic requirements and without addressing each of them a biosecurity program cannot exist.

  1. Minimize exposure to other cattle.
    • Quarantine all new arrivals for at least 21 days.
    • Separate show stock from main herd.
    • Separate feeding, housing and watering areas from the main herd.
    • When doing chores do the main herd first.
    • Practice good sanitation between cattle groups, i.e. clean and disinfect clothes, boots and equipment.
    • Limit visitors including people and other livestock or animals and don't hesitate to ask about someone else's operation before allowing them to see yours.
    • Purchase replacement livestock tested and determined BVD-PI free.

  2. Establish a good vaccination program.
    • Closely follow label instructions on the vaccine.
    • Handle vaccine carefully keep it protected from excessive heat, cold and sunlight.
    • Follow beef quality assurance (BQA) guidelines.

  3. Keep herd and individual records.
    • Reproductive records.
    • Health records.
    • Financial records.

  4. Address health problems.
    • If a calf becomes sick determine why.
    • If a cow aborts determine why.
    • If an animal dies determine why.
For more info about the Colorado Voluntary BVD Control Program go to www.dlab.colostate.edu/ - click on "Rocky Ford."
-- Clint Peck