Tuesday, October 21, 2014
   
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State Fair cattle entries need test for BVD-PI

This year the Nebraska State Fair, with the support of the Nebraska State Veterinarian’s Office, is requiring a negative PI (persistently infected) BVD (bovine virus diarrhea) test on all cattle entering the grounds.

“Because there is so much comingling and movement of cattle today, and with the potential for exposure to possible diseases, it is important to be proactive in trying to prevent a potential economically devastating disease such as BVD from affecting other animals,” according to Bill Angell, livestock superintendent. “From a liability standpoint, we want to do everything we can to prevent something like this from affecting livestock at the Nebraska State Fair.”

The State Fair needs to look at this disease from a biosecurity standpoint, according to Dr. Randall Pedersen, State Fair veterinarian.

“We don’t want a disease such as BVD-PI, which can have a great economic impact on our industry, to affect animals at the State Fair,” he said. “Exhibitors do not need to bring any animals to the fair which are positive or are potential carriers for a disease such as BVD. With the rapid transit systems we have today, a problem can be in several states within a matter of hours if it is not detected.”

As a state, Nebraska does not require a BVD-PI test for cattle, but the State Veterinarian’s Office supports the efforts of the State Fair in addressing this disease.

“BVD-PI is potentially a high-impact disease that can cause abortions in bred animals if a susceptible animal comes in contact with a positive animal,” said Dr. Dennis Hughes, state veterinarian. “The State Veterinarian’s Office supports all efforts to be proactive in preventing contagious diseases.”

What is BVD-PI? PI animals are infected in utero, are born immunosuppressed and are shedders of the virus for life. These PI animals serve as reservoirs for the BVD virus and are contagious to other animals.

When a positive animal comes in contact with susceptible animals, they can pass this virus on, possibly causing abortions as well as other reproductive problems in bred females.

It is the responsibility of all exhibitors to have their animals tested prior to coming to the State Fair. Results of this test must be recorded on the health certificate.

The test can be done any time prior to the fair (doesn’t have to be within 30 days). Either a simple ear notch or blood sample is acceptable. Once an animal is tested negative, they don’t have to be tested again: once negative they are negative for life.

There are several different syndromes that the BVD virus can produce:

1. Clinical disease—acute disease

2. BVD shed in bull semen

3. Reproductive problems (females/poor conception)

4. Abortions

5. Prolonged gestations

6. Head and eye abnormalities

7. Positive born PI calves readily transmit virus in secretions and excretions for the rest of their life.

“It is the goal of the Nebraska State Fair to be proactive in trying to prevent the spread of, or the potential spread of any disease that can have an economic impact on the livestock industry” explained Angell. “Following the outbreak of the equine herpes virus this past spring, which was devastating to the horse industry, it is a recent example of why it is important that we take all the preventive measures we can to have a clean and uneventful State Fair, health wise.”