SCOTLAND'S bid to eradicate Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) from its cattle herd takes another step forward next week (May 18) when all animals identified as being persistently infected (PI) must be housed separately.

Latest figures show that under phase five of the Scottish BVD scheme, significant progress in eradicating this costly disease from Scottish cattle continues to be made.

Across 10,691 holdings, 535,000 cattle in Scotland are being tested and screened for BVD. Figures for May suggest that 48 Scottish holdings currently retain 122 PI cattle and, if these animals remain on farm, they will be required to meet the new rules.

NFU Scotland’s animal health and welfare policy manager Penny Middleton said: “Great strides have been made by Scottish cattle keepers in eradicating this costly disease from our herd and phase F=five, which started in December 2019, is continuing that momentum.

“However, persistently infected animals are the biggest cause of spreading BVD and best practice involves removing them from a herd as soon as they are identified.

“Where herds choose to retain these high-risk animals, then housing and isolation can prevent further spread of infection within the herd, but more importantly can help protect neighbouring herds from infection.

“Many of those neighbours will have invested significant time and money in BVD eradication plans that risk being undone through any contact with PI animals”.

Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson sold 19 prime cattle at its sale at Ayr on Tuesday. Thirteen prime heifers sold to a top of £1,310 or 232p/kg for a Limousin to average £1,220 or 221p overall.

Three prime bullocks peaked at £1,095 for a Friesian or 193p for a Hereford to average £1,033 or 162p. Three young bulls were topped at £1,134 and 180p for a Simmental to average £1120 or 175p.

In the rough ring 53 cast beef cows sold to £1,090 for a Limousin cross or 147p for another Limousin cross to average 125p overall, while 49 cast dairy cows sold to £950 and 138p to average 98p overall. Four cast bulls were topped at £1260 and 118p for a Simmental to average 102p.

Five dairy cattle sold to £1750 for a Holstein Friesian heifer with another going for £1500.

The firm also sold 161 breeding hoggs, ewes and gimmers at their 2nd breeding sheep sale.

Top price at the sale was for a pen of Texel cross ewes rearing twins making £240 with a gimmer and single Beltex lamb making £204. Suffolk ewes sold to £222 for ewes rearing twins, while cross ewes with twins sold to £182. Mule hoggs topped at £190 for hoggs with twins, while hoggs with singles sold to £176. Texel hoggs with single lambs sold to £174.