Over the past several years, the nation's scientific leaders in bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus control have been on a mission. Their goal is to foster an environment that will raise the awareness and understanding of the BVD virus and its impact on the nation's cattle herd.

As part of this effort, the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases (CRWAD) sponsored a two-day meeting in Denver, CO., Jan. 30-31. The name, “BVD Control and Eradication: The future is now!” says it all.

The program was led by Hana Van Campen, Colorado State University PhD and DVM in Fort Collins; Julia Ridpath, USDA Agricultural Research Service PhD and DVM in Ames, IA; and Dale Grotelueschen, a Pfizer Animal Health DVM. The conference was implemented under the auspices of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's BVD Working Group — Cattle Health and Well Being Committee.

There's no question that new programs in animal health and biosecurity related to the BVD virus and unveiled at the Denver conference will help usher in a new era of animal health and overall beef production.

BVD viral infection is generally spread by persistently infected (PI) animals “created” in gestation. PI calves that survive birth are usually more susceptible to disease, unthrifty and unprofitable. Unfortunately, a few PIs appear healthy and may be retained as breeding animals.

Finding PI animals and eliminating them from breeding herds is an essential part of controlling BVD. Today, the opportunity exists at the cow-calf level to eliminate PIs and the BVD virus. The future really is “now.”

This publication represents an effort to distill the Denver program's various research papers, oral presentations and discussions into a contemporary BVD resource guide.

We at BEEF are committed to doing our part to promote the new paradigms in animal health and biosecurity related to the BVD virus unveiled at the Denver conference. We tip our hats to the people and institutions responsible for their insight, and taking the nation's livestock health business to exciting new levels.

SPECIAL REPORT

In-depth coverage on how the industry, beginning with beef producers, can whip the bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus.